A drier-than-average spring is expected to ensure drought conditions continue across Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says, after weekend rain did little to soften the ground.
Widespread falls were welcomed by many, but people in southern Queensland were particularly happy, with some describing it as the best single rain event since 2016.
BOM meteorologist Aditi Sharan said the highest fall had been 95mm, recorded at Warri Station near St George.
Other areas of high falls included 51mm at Meandarra, 39mm at Hannaford and 35mm at Nindigully.
Farmers happy but hesitant
Cotton Australia chairman and St George farmer Hamish McIntyre said he had tipped some handsome totals out of the gauges at the weekend.
“It’s probably some of the best falls on our property for three years,” he said.
“We had 64mm on our property Strathmere, north of St George. Where we live at St George there was 53mm, south of St George at Mooramanna we had 37mm, so we were very lucky.
“We never know what’s around the corner. We’re just going to make the most out of it when we get it.”
But not everyone was so lucky, with many farmers across Queensland disappointed with patchy rain.
“The lowest falls were down to 10mm in a large number of places,” Ms Sharan said.
Philip Wilkie, a grain and crop farmer near Biloela in central Queensland, had only 6mm.
“There might have been a few more heavier showers even close to us, so they were very narrow rain bands and if you are under them you might have picked up a little bit more,” he said.
“We need at least 50mm before we can do anything … the general sort of decent rain was back in March.
“We have pre-watered some of the cotton ground and that will just wet that up again because we didn’t plant, because it was so cold it’s good for that.
“For the rest of it, it wouldn’t even be enough to bring weeds up, so yeah, just settling the dust.”
More needed to turn paddocks green
Currently 57.4 per cent of Queensland is drought-declared, including 23 councils and four part-council areas.
There are also 85 individually droughted properties in a further 11 shires.
While weekend rainfall helped to settle the dust in some areas, much more is needed to green paddocks.
Ms Sharan said the rain had made a small dent to drought-affected areas, and farmers could expect a drier-than-average spring.
“According to the climate summary we had … a drier spring is expected,” she said.
“What we had over the weekend is not enough.”