Tem­per­a­tures and hopes high

Tablelands Advertiser - - RURAL INSIGHT - Kather­ine Kokko­nen

A HOT and dry forecast for the Tablelands has not damp­ened farm­ers hopes for de­cent rain in catch­ment ar­eas.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy has forecast above me­dian max­i­mum and min­i­mum tem­per­a­tures for Ma­reeba and Dim­bu­lah from Jan­uary through to March.

Ma­reeba has about a 70 per cent chance of re­ceiv­ing at least 500mm of rain, while Dim­bu­lah has about a 75 per cent chance of re­ceiv­ing at least 300mm.

Se­nior cli­mate li­ai­son of­fi­cer Jeff Sab­burg said the Tablelands was in for a drier and hot­ter sum­mer.

“We were head­ing to­wards a La Nina but the watch was can­celled and this sum­mer it will be neu­tral,” he said.

“In the last out­look we started to get a drier out­look than what we had be­fore.

“It has been a dry Novem­ber com­ing into De­cem­ber.”

Ma­reeba Dis­trict Fruit and Vegetable Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Joe Moro said while the can­cel­la­tion of the La Nina watch was a con­cern to some farm­ers, they re­mained op­ti­mistic about the com­ing wet sea­son.

Mr Moro, who is also the chair­man of the Ma­reeba Dim­bu­lah Ir­ri­ga­tion Area Coun­cil, said farm­ers were hop­ing for de­cent rain­fall in the right places next year.

“We need it in the catch­ment ar­eas to fill Ti­na­roo dam up,” he said.

“We are wait­ing to see what sort of wet sea­son we are go­ing to get.

“The sooner the rain comes, the bet­ter. Farm­ers are not pan­ick­ing but they have their eyes on the weather. There is not much you can do about it if it doesn’t rain.”

Mr Moro said farm­ers had al­ready been pre­par­ing for the hot­ter weather and any pos­si­ble ef­fects.

“It is of some con­cern in terms of our staff and the qual­ity of our pro­duce,” he said.

“The hot weather is some­thing we will man­age.”

Mr Moro wished ev­ery­one a happy Christ­mas and pros­per­ous new year.

“Most peo­ple re­main pos­i­tive and hope­fully their Santa’s wishes come true and we get some rain,” he said.

The sooner the rain comes, the bet­ter. Farm­ers are not pan­ick­ing but they have their eyes on the weather. There is not much you can do about it if it doesn’t rain. Ma­reeba Dis­trict Fruit and Vegetable Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Joe Moro

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