Graziers face weather concerns
FOR the first time in nine years Ma Ma Creek grazier Collin Karrasch has been forced to cart water for his cattle.
All his dams are bone dry.
There’s no water left on his 116ha (286-acre) property.
And with less than average rainfall across the region this summer, Mr Karrasch isn’t the only grazier starting to feel the strain of the El Nino conditions.
“I’ve never seen dams so empty to the extent that they are,” Mr Karrasch said.
“It’s been twice that we’ve geared up to cart water, but this is the first time we’ve ever run out.”
Australia is currently in an El Nino which has brought above-average temperatures and less-than-average rainfall to the nation.
When East Haldon, Thornton and Atkinson’s Dam received more than 100mm in the last storm, Ma Ma Creek was lucky to get 20mm.
And the outlook for autumn isn’t going to be relieving graziers of water shortages anytime soon.
For Gatton, the average rainfall for autumn is 176mm.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, there’s 82% chance of receiving 100mm.
BoM climatologist Jeff Sabburg said the El Nino hadn’t broken down as quickly as first expected.
“We have to watch that it doesn’t switch from an El Nino to a La Nina,” Mr Sabburg said.
“Going from extreme dry to wet weather could be a bit of an issue.”
In Australia, the last two El Ninos (2010 and 2007) have been followed by La Ninas, which bring above-average rainfalls.
However, Mr Karrasch said the lack of rainfall has helped him prioritise what needs to be done at his property.
He’s installed troughs and tanks in anticipation of future rainfall and will collect much-needed water from his shed.
“I haven’t been collecting water off the shed, now at least whatever comes off that roof I’ll get,” he said.
(LEFT) Collin Karrasch watches his troughs fill up after carting water to his cattle.
WAITING FOR RAIN: Ma Ma Creek grazier Collin Karrasch looks to the sky for future rainfall.