News

Dry spells a disaster for our farmers

TRYING TIMES: Fred Morgan says we need rain – now.
TRYING TIMES: Fred Morgan says we need rain – now.

DAMS are dry, stocks are low and cattle are on their last few weeks of feed.

Unless the Clarence Valley gets a decent downpour in the next month or two, cattle farmer Fred Morgan said we were on struggle street.

It comes as the Northern Rivers experiences its second-driest 12-month-period in more than a century.

"These are really trying times," Mr Morgan said.

"My dams are the lowest I have ever seen them.

"Some are completely dry and others are going dry."

He predicted the last of his dams to be totally dry within eight weeks if we didn't get some rain.

"The biggest problem we have then is carting in water, or carting cattle off to water," Mr Morgan said.

"Water is as important as air."

The seasoned producer said we were coming off the back of another dry year in 2013, which made it twice as hard for farmers to get ahead.

"I've been through similar times in 1964-65 when we had two very dry years following each other," he said.

"We got a bit of a break in August when we got eight inches in one night, but then it didn't rain again until Christmas.

"We got through that, but these are very trying times today."

Mr Morgan said his best piece of advice to other cattle producers was to keep numbers at a manageable size.

"Through my earlier experiences the greatest mistake anyone can make is to overstock," he said.

Fingers and toes are crossed around the Valley that Mother Nature delivers a serious downpour.

"We need run-off - it's the wrong time of year to expect it, but it is possible," Mr Morgan said.

"Or we could get early storms, which is another scenario that may save our bacon."

If weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke is on the money, Mr Morgan's prayers may be answered as we approach a wet week ahead, but whether it will be enough is debateable.

Mr Dutschke said the Clarence Valley could expect between 40-80mm of rain between now and the weekend with the majority expected to fall on Saturday night and Sunday.

"There is the potential for some places to pick up their biggest rain since early last year," he said.

But he said farmers should make the most of it as there were no signs of big rain downfalls in the near future.

figures

Chance of rain

Today: 60%

Tomorrow: 80%

Friday: 90%

Saturday: 90%

Sunday: 90%

Monday: 40%

Temperatures

Today: 6-20 deg

Tomorrow: 7-20

Friday: 8-21

Saturday: 9-20

Sunday: 10-19

Monday: 11-22

Topics:  cattle producers, clarence valley, primary producers, weatherzone




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

NSW police locate missing baby girl missing at Glenugie

No Caption

Child subject to Queensland Amber Alert located by NSW Police

OUR SAY: Brexit proves voters take matters into own hands

The Sun's front page in support of Britain leaving the European Union.

BREXIT vote has dominated campaigning in lead up to Federal election

Kim switches focus to solo career

Singing opportunities have opend up for Kim Sheehy following her success on The Voice.

Moving on after elemination from The Voice

Latest deals and offers

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?