Days of rain brings welcome reprieve for Queensland farmers
AFTER almost 12 months without rain, Western Queensland farmer Pat Hegarty is feeling good about the start of the season after three days of steady rain.
The last time rain like this was seen at Colanya, a sheep station halfway between Longreach and Winton, it was March 2018 when 85mm fell over a number of days.
Since then, Mr Hegarty said they've had no rain.
Seeing more than 70mm fall since the start of the week, Mr Hegarty said he was relieved to see water flowing into dams and the parched land soaked.
"It was really nice, soaking rain and we are hoping to see some response from it down the track,” he said.
"It has been so dry, we have been dry for seven years so we sort of missed seven summers in a row.
"It is a good start but we are going to need to see quite a bit of follow up to see much response, but you have to start somewhere and to get 70mm of good soaking in late January like that is a a really great start for us.”
After de-stocking completely in 2016 due to the drought, Mr Hegarty said his focus has been maintaining the property so it's ready to be re-stocked when the big rain comes.
"We had water but no feed so we had to offload the stock and the purpose of that was to give it a chance to pick up when it does rain,” he said.
"Now that we have had this rain and there is no stock here, it should give the land a spell for a while and hopefully it will pick up and grow some feed,” Mr Hegarty said.
While the rain has brought a happy reprieve for Mr Hegarty, he says they'll need a lot more rain for the drought to be broken.
"The drought is not over,” he said.
"It is a great start for us but we need more rain to follow it up to really get the season rolling again.”
Bureau of Meteorology Forecasts for the Central West show more rain is likely for Friday, with chances lessening over the weekend.
Very high (90%) chance of showers north of Longreach, with medium (40%) chance elsewhere and a chance of a thunderstorm.
Heavy rain falls are also possible for areas west of Longreach.