Rain welcome, but much more needed say farmers
WHILE Toowoomba received a decent drenching overnight Monday, farmers across the Darling Downs grain belt are turning their eyes skyward in the hope of more.
Dryland farmer Russell Grundy was happily listening to the gentle sound of rain on his roof at Jondaryan on Monday night, but only ended up with 16mm in the gauge by morning.
With 500 acres of winter crop planted across his 1300 acre property, The Willows, more rain is needed - and soon.
Mr Grundy said he had to plant late because of the unseasonably dry weather, and until this week hadn't received a drop of rain since July.
"The crops are short and suffering," he said. "They're short but they were planted into good subsoil moisture and are remarkably hanging on better than I expected.
"Hopefully this little bit (of rain) will help them fill what's there.
"There's more money in mud than dust, as they say."
Mr Russell said another 50mm would be good, and was hopeful more rain would fall throughout the week, as was forecast.
Across the Darling Downs, it was a similar story.
The rain fell, but as Dalby-based Agforce Grains president Wayne Newton put it, "it's not doing a lot more than just dampening the dust to be honest with you".
He said 10mm seemed to be the average total across the Dalby area and further afield.
"There'll be a fair few disappointed growers one would say, who were looking to get spring and summer crops planted," he said.
"The forecasters had been mentioning numbers much bigger but so far not a lot has materialised.
"A lot of that central Darling Downs grain belt has missed out."
Mr Newton said the last worthwhile rainfall was back in March and most farmers "hadn't had a lot since".
"So we're going to need substantial falls of rain to get a successful Summer crop under way," he said.
"There's a bit of (storm activity) starting to brew up, and there's some activity forecast for later today, so we're just hanging in there now, hoping we'll get something sometime this week."
Rainfall totals from around the city are varied, but Blue Mountain Heights on the Toowoomba escarpment recorded the highest levels with 58mm by early yesterday.
Residents taking to social media happily posted what fell where, with Kleinton soaking up 40mm.
Meringandan West recorded 35mm with Gowrie Junction received about 32mm.
Official rainfall totals from the Bureau of Meteorology put Toowoomba's official rainfall at the city airport at 31.6mm.
Warwick on the Southern Downs recorded 16.6mm, with even less falling over Stanthorpe with the BoM reporting less than 1mm yesterday.
Lockyer Valley farmers will be rejoicing, recording the highest rainfall in the three regions.
The BoM reported 62mm fell over Gatton and surrounding Lockyer Valley regions, delivering a boost to the region's agricultural producers.