Downpours not all great news
AFTER an extended stretch without rain, most city folk would be forgiven for thinking of the rain as a blessing.
But for primary producers, rain was only good when it came at the right time and recent downpours left many in the Lockyer Valley feeling pretty upset. After a hot and dry winter marked by spending a fortune on electricity to pump water to crops, many producers arrived at harvest time only to find their fields waterlogged and in some cases, their produce destroyed.
Lockyer Valley Growers president Michael Sippel said onion growers were among the hardest hit when downpours of up to 80mm fell.
“The rain has been okay for some, but probably more of a hindrance for others,” he said.
“The problem is we’ve battled for the last four months to grow the crop in an unseasonably warm winter, but now, when we traditionally harvest, they can’t get them out of the ground.
“Some growers are getting out today but there’s a threat of more rain on the way and the ground is waterlogged, so it’s not easy harvesting.”
On Zac Vanstone’s Crowley Vale farm they were pleased to see some rain fall, but finally got to the stage where it looked like their Christmas planting of shallots was under threat.
Vanstone Produce grew broccolini, silverbeet and shallots, with double the shallot production around Christmas time.
He said so far they had missed two plantings and there was a threat of more rain on the way.
“The rain we got the weekend before last was welcome and really needed to replace sub-soil moisture, but another 10 days of it was too much,” he said.
MIXED BLESSING: Ross Vanstone of Vanstone Produce appreciated the rain in the Lockyer Valley.