Drought! Absolutely not! If the soil profile is not full, I don’t know when it would ever be.
Glenorchy 80mm or so and the Woongarra (east of Bundy) around the same. ISIS around 60 mm and although Rocky Point area was only around 25mm so far, paddocks were already quite damp. Hopefully a week of sunshine will follow and that will bring all that has been planted out of the ground.
Harvesting has been halted, maybe for up to seven days. CCS levels were holding up at all mills and no effort was being spared to keep the cane supply coming in, so a lay-day due to rain did give us a spell.
Drought! A reminder that those of us in Irrigation Areas must keep drought in mind, mainly because of the Queensland Competition Authority Irrigation Water Price Path Enquiry. And if that is not a big enough mouthful, we also have the Burnett Water Resource Plan Review, running concurrently. Submissions and discussion groups are everywhere on the go. My biggest concern is that these may turn out to be selling government policy decisions, rather than people who live and die by using these resources having the chance to make workable operations systems for the future.
Workforce shortages seem to have come to an end. Twenty applications for a tractor driver in our area is a welcome change. We were unable to find starters last year. The G.F.C. must still be there otherwise all these people would simply say, “I’m just waiting to get into the mines.”
Lastly, to planting cane. Re. row spacing: I need an elastic tractor if anyone has one! How ever else am I to plant cane at all the row spaces that farmers desire. I gave it all up and picked a nice round metric number. As the latest BSES Bulletin indicates; personal preference might as well be the deciding factor in the choice of row space. Does this mean some of the “New Farming System” projects have been dead-enders? I am not sure how far farmers will go to defend their choice but it is one hot topic in our region.
So, now to repairs and maintenance, as we will need to be ready when it’s dry enough.
Michael E. Hetherington
ACFA Southern Region Director