Temperatures and hopes high
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