M'boro milk business turning sour as drought bites

Dion Burton is concerned the cattle will suffer if they are forced to stop irrigating.
Dion Burton is concerned the cattle will suffer if they are forced to stop irrigating. Robyne Cuerel

THE future of Burtons Fraser Coast Milk is uncertain, as the Maryborough dairy prepares for the possibility of having its irrigation water turned off this week.

The water comes from the Maryborough Barrage which fills Teddington Weir and as dam levels shrink in the drought, the conservation of water becomes paramount.

Jenny Burton runs the business with her son Dion and they're facing troubled times.

"It's getting very drastic I can tell you that," she said.

"We probably have enough feed to last a week and that would be all."

The family is taking it one day at a time and doesn't want to stop farming.

"I hope not - we want to keep going," Ms Burton said.

"We just don't know.

"It all depends on if we get rain or not."

The Burtons are looking for help from the Fraser Coast to keep going.

"Buy our milk when we've got it available," Ms Burton said.

"I've also made Warren Truss and Anne Maddern aware of what's going on."

A SunWater spokesman said the Burtons were medium-priority customers.

"Without significant rainfall, access to water from the Mary Barrage for medium-priority allocation customers will cease when Mary Barrage reaches EL (level) 1m," he said.

Based on current water use, SunWater predicts that level will be reached early this week.

"This interruption to medium priority supplies will continue until Mary Barrage receives a significant inflow from rainfall in the catchment area," the spokesman said.

The Burtons have a few hundred head of cattle and supply milk across the Fraser Coast.

They use the water from the Maryborough Barrage in their new irrigation system.

"We've spent more than $30,000 on an irrigation plan over 18 months," Ms Burton said.

"We rely on the irrigation water."

Although disappointed Ms Burton understood the reason for turning off the water was to preserve it for Maryborough residents.

Thanks to the expensive irrigation system, the land in which Dion Burton's cattle roam is looking healthy.

But where he hasn't irrigated?

"Where he hasn't been doing the irrigation, it's just so bare and dry," Ms Burton said.

Their irrigation bill for the past three months was $13,000.

Ms Burton said she wanted to keep the business going and pass it on to the grandchildren.

Dion Burton watches the cows feed.
Dion Burton watches the cows feed. Robyne Cuerel

Topics:  burtons fraser coast milk drought irrigation maryborough water

Discovery of dead birds in M'Boro has residents suspicious

Miro Lesniewski has found a number of dead magpies and ibises, possibly baited, around where he resides in the Tooley, Milton and North Sts, Maryborough area.

The bodies were found on Tooley, Milton and North Sts.

28 wishes for the Fraser Coast

Caloundra Music Festival 2016

What you would like to see on the Fraser Coast.

Dreamworld shock: Son and daughter saw parents die

 New Zealand expat Cindy Low, 42, (back right) has been named as the fourth victim who died in the accident at Dreamworld yesterday. An investigation is underway to determine how four people died on the 30-year-old Thunder River Rapids ride at the Gold Coast theme park.

It is understood Kieran was the last person to see his mum alive.

Local Partners

Hervey Bay to Hollywood: dreams do come true

No Caption

She graduated from the Amercial Musical and Dramatic Academy.

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June