RAIN NEEDED: Nikenbah cane farmer Ashley Petersen wants to start planting his next crop, but he needs rain.
RAIN NEEDED: Nikenbah cane farmer Ashley Petersen wants to start planting his next crop, but he needs rain. Cody Fox

DESPERATE TIMES: Region praying for rain as dry continues

LITTLE relief is in sight for farmers across the Fraser Coast desperate for the slightest sign of rain.  

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Lachlan Stoney said summer rainfall was expected to fall short of the annual average.  

It comes as growers are already reeling from a bone dry winter across the Fraser Coast.  

Allan Dingle, chairman of Canegrowers Bundaberg, said it was the driest he had ever seen it.

 "A lot of farmers haven't planted for the simple reason that it is so dry and there doesn't really seem to be any end in sight," he said.  

"We need rain yesterday.  

"Some are re-irrigating, some probably haven't.  

"Unfortunately there are growers that don't have any water, it's certainly concerning for those individuals."  

Last month, just 12mm of rain was recorded in Maryborough, with 19mm recorded in Hervey Bay - well below the 23mm average for both cities.  

This month Maryborough has had no rain so far, while 0.4mm has fallen in Hervey Bay.  

This is down on the September average of 26mm of Maryborough and 25mm for Hervey Bay.  

Next week there is a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain on Thursday and Friday in then region.  

However even if rain does reach the region, only two to three millimetres is expected.

 Nikenbah cane farmer Ashley Petersen said as he looked to plant a new crop, the lack of rain was concerning.  

His supply of recycled water is already low because he needed to irrigate during the previous cane season.  

"We've just got to work with it, it is our driest month," he said.  

He said it would probably be next month before the region got any significant amount of rain.  

"We need at least 50mm, even 100 probably wouldn't get in the way of things," Mr Petersen said.

Gary Lewis from Blue Lagoon Water Supplies said he had been kept busy for the past month, making about 60 deliveries of water a week.  

"The month of September is always a dry month until the rains come in, it's a very dry month," he said.  

On Wednesday, the community will be invited to gather at Maryborough City Hall between 5.30pm and 6.30pm to pray for rain.   

Councillor Paul Truscott said the region, state and country was in desperate need of rain.

"Whether it be from devastating fires or drought, we need the rain to heal our land," he said.  



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