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Glimmer of hope for dry SEQ

Eliza Rogers, Wednesday November 6, 2013 - 15:26 EDT
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Parts of the Wide Bay Burnett are unusually dry, including this area between Childers and Biggenden. - ABC

As the total area of Queensland under drought crept further to 62 per cent this week, the North Burnett region has renewed a call for help.

The Balonne and Maranoa districts have been added to the list, bringing the drought boundary closer to encircling the Wide Bay Burnett.

Paddocks are bare and dams are dropping, but record rains less than 12 months ago mean there's no real chance the area could be drought declared.

Mayor Don Waugh says no good rain since January and scarce feed stocks mean some producers are struggling to just keep their cattle alive.

He's encouraging people to make individual declarations for help.

Recent rainfalls have offered some welcome reprieve, and the impending wet season is a light at the end of the tunnel.

But Mr Waugh says it needs to come soon.

"I'm sure that within the next three or four months, we certainly will get some more rain, it just depends on whether it's close to the four months or next week, whether it's going to be effective for the graziers and for the property owners."

Falls of about 20mm in the Monto region last week helped kick along the local cattle sale.

Livestock agent Brad McInally is encouraging producers across the region to sell cattle now to fill demand and fetch good prices.

He says some people are taking the opportunity to restock while cattle are lighter, and feedlotters are trying to keep full.

Meanwhile, the cattle selling season is nearing the December close, and buyers are mindful of a drop in cattle numbers if the rains set in soon.

"If they're in the right condition, they're worth a bit of money now; bullocks and cows jumped $100-150 a head and that makes a lot of difference," Mr McInally said.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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