October provides rainfall
OCTOBER has provided much-needed spring rainfall to many parts of southwest Queensland.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Toowoomba has received 106mm in October so far, with the monthly average being 72mm.
Warwick, 89mm with their average October rainfall being 69mm.
Roma, 68mm this month and Kingaroy, 107mm.
South Burnett farmers Claire and Craig Kapernick have received 165mm for October so far, with 25mm over the weekend.
“As graziers this rain is marvellous, the grass is growing, the cows are in seventh heaven,” Mrs Kapernick said.
“But we also grow hay, that’s our main source of income. And as hay growers we’re tearing our hair out.
“The sheds are empty and there’s a huge demand for hay but we can’t get onto the paddock to cut anything!”
The Kapernicks run 100 head of cattle as well as their hay operation on their three properties.
They run 40.5 ha under irrigation, where they grow cereal crops including oats and barley, a mixed species pasture, and straight summer grass.
Mrs Kapernick said they felt extremely lucky they didn’t receive any damage from the recent hail storm that swept the South Burnett.
“We’re fortunate because when the storm that came through the South Burnett, we missed it.
“Whereas a fellow down the road from us had his whole lucerne crop destroyed.
“The storm was really close to all our properties, we had a bit of hail but no damage.”
Mrs Kapernick is hoping for some sunny weather over the coming weeks.
“All of October it’s just kept raining,” she said.
“We’ve got plenty of hay to cut, but being on a black soil creek flat, we need a few days for the ground to dry off before we can even get on there to cut the hay.
“The cows will be happy because the moisture is there in the soil now. We need a bit of sunshine to get everything growing.
“After rain like this, when the sun comes out I always say you can almost hear the grass growing.”
Teresa and Michael Minnett run angus cattle on their 68.8ha property 7km east of Goombungee.
They received 15mm of rain over the weekend and 95mm for October.
“I think we could have got more but the wind blew it all sideways,” Mrs Minnett said.
“It’s been nice steady rain, wild couch and it grows like crazy after the rain, so it’s provided a bit of feed for the cattle.
“But there has been no run off for the dams yet.”
Mrs Minnett said they had offloaded most of their cattle due to the dry.
“My husband has only kept about nine breeders, a bull, they’re calving at the moment.
“We’ve sold off 20 or 30. You really have to play it by ear, because you never know when there will be a drought again.
‘It’s been dry all year. Before this we hadn’t had any good rain in quite a while.”
Mrs Minnett said she was hoping for follow up rain.
“I hope it’s widespread because there’s a lot of people that need it,” she said.
“You don’t want to go too silly and get excited because you don’t know if more rain will come.”
Jandowae farmer Doug Wunsch received 20mm at his property in Jinghi and his property in Tuckerang.
“We had some rain about a week before that, 63mm. Prior to that we had a couple of falls of 4mm and 8mm,” Mr Wunsch said. “I hate to curse it when we’ve been waiting for it for so long,
“But It would be good to get this crappy crop off and plant some sorghum.”
Mr Wunsch said the rain had come too late for most of his barley crop at his home property in Jinghi.
“Eighty per cent is probably past saving but it will help 20 per cent of it,” he said.
“Tuckerang doesn’t seem to do too well. We had no planting rain so I have nothing there this season.
“At home here I took a chance and run it in dry. Then we had about 18mm about five weeks after that in July.
“Then up it came. During the growing period I had a
9mm shower and that’s all it had until now.”
Mr Wunsch said due to being zero till he would be able to plant his sorghum crop at his Tuckerang property.
“The rain we had was very beneficial. I didn’t get any big storm rains, all my rain was steady.
“And having stubble retention it really took everything in.
“You have to give zero till a hand, because it’s the reason I can go into planting right now.”
The highest rainfalls for the region over the weekend were seen at Gregor Creek which received 40mm, according to the BoM.
Esk got 29mm, Toowoomba
29mm and Dalmeny 26mm.
All of October it’s just kept raining.
— Claire Kapernick
SPRING RAIN: Claire Kapernick with some happy cows in a paddock of green grass.