RAIN DANCE: Local woman, Barb Chapman welcomed the rain with open arms.
RAIN DANCE: Local woman, Barb Chapman welcomed the rain with open arms.

Rainfall brings relief to region in drought

GROWERS in the region will start to feel some relief, with weather experts saying the long awaited rain is expected to continue.

The news comes a week after the BOM’s annual climate statement was released, revealing 2019 was Australia’s hottest and driest year on record.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BFVG) managing director Bree Grima said the industry was relieved to see some rainfall starting to appear, despite inconsistent forecasts.

“The continuing dry conditions have impacted cover crops which traditionally are not irrigated as heavily as commercial production crops and therefore this rainfall may assist in bumping up these plantings,” Ms Grima said.

“BFVG are extremely mindful that the water level in Paradise Dam is dropping quickly below the intended 42% capacity, (which is) currently at 37% and any rainfall is a welcome sight which can take that level back up.”

Ms Grima said the lack of rain has not only impacted the growth of farmer’s crops, but it has also caused wildlife to seek alternative sources of food, causing further harm.

“There have been increased reports of damage from kangaroos in orchards, which are drawn to the feed source,” Ms Grima said.

“Hopefully these short rainfall events will encourage their original feed source to grow, reducing further damage in commercial orchards such as new macadamia plantings and other tree crops.”

A BOM spokeswoman said the region could expect rain for the remainder of the week, with a 70% chance of showers today and tomorrow.

“This is a result of an easterly flow, where wind that is blowing over the ocean with extra moisture is penetrating further inland, as well as a passage of surface trough, which has brought rainfall in the last day,” the spokeswoman said.