Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Queensland farmers throw rain party

Eliza Rogers, Wednesday March 5, 2014 - 18:07 EDT
ABC image
Thirsty crop: This picture taken in the Maryborough region shows a green arc of irrigated cane in stark contrast to poor quality unirrigated cane. - ABC

Cane farmers in south-east Queensland, struggling through their driest season on record, have thrown a 'make it rain' party to coax a downpour.

General manager of MSF Sugar's Maryborough region, Stewart Norton, says only 240mm has fallen since July last year, stunting the local crop's growth and doubling irrigation costs.

Low river levels are now cutting off major irrigation supplies, but Mr Norton says people are still hopeful.

"We thought, well, one way to make it rain is you have an outdoor party, so we're having an outdoor party.

"I talk to my CEO Mike Barry, he's been in contact with the owners about our situation here, but they are rock solid behind it.

"This region's got a great future in the sugar industry," he said.

Farmers are starting to consider drought declaration, but say it's unchartered territory and may not offer the help they need paying the power bill.

The Maryborough cane harvest typically begins in July.


- ABC

© ABC 2014

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Katter's Australia Party accuses successive governments of neglecting rural and regional Queenslanders

16:21 EST

Katter's Australia Party MP Shane Knuth says rural Queenslanders have been "done over" by successive governments.

Rain guarantees a good year for New South Wales grain growers

15:46 EST

General rain of between 10 to 40 millimetres throughout most of the state last week has been welcomed by New South Wales grain growers and graziers alike.

Chilly start set for spring

15:12 EST

Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne are all set for a cold start to spring while snow could fall at Bluff Knoll in the nation's west.