Cane farmer Alwyn Heidke is appreciative of the rain we are having this week.
Cane farmer Alwyn Heidke is appreciative of the rain we are having this week. Mike Knott

Rain relief for farms

BUNDABERG farmers are thanking the heavens, which finally opened up this week to bring some much-needed moisture to the soil.

But Bundaberg Regional Council and disaster managers are also keeping a close eye a surface trough threatening to dump up to 150mm on the region in the next 24 hours, after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning late yesterday.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers executive officer Peter Hockings said the wet weather had come at the perfect time for cane farmers.

"The rain is really good for the sugar industry because they're not planting or harvesting at the moment," Mr Hockings said.

"It will bring on a good crop if the rain stops and it heats up."

Cane farmer Alwyn Heidke said rain in January and February was often welcome, and it would mean less irrigating for growers.

"It's been very dry so this is good," he said.

"We've been irrigating heavily."

Mr Hockings said other farmers to benefit included those about the plant their crops.

"Things like tomatoes, capsicums and zucchinis will be going in," he said.

"The sort of light downfall we've had so far is a good recharge for the soil moisture profile and a good top up for the river."

But Mr Hockings said the rain, while good for some crops, was bad for others.

"The tropical fruits like mangoes and lychees being harvested will be significantly impacted if it keeps up," he said.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michelle Berry said the rain was expected to continue throughout the week.

"Definitely into (today) you could experience some heavy falls," Ms Berry said.

"There is a trough off the Capricorn Coast which is expected to move south bringing falls which will be heavy at times."

Late yesterday, as the bureau upgraded its weather warning for the Wide Bay-Burnett to severe, Bundaberg Regional Council was quick off the front foot to warn residents to be aware of the possibility of flash flooding.

Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said that, while the Local Disaster Management Group would not be activated at this stage, the council would monitor the weather closely.

Cr Pyefinch urged residents to take care on the roads and keep out of flooded waterways, and to check on conditions if they were travelling.


Rainfall totals

From 9am to 3pm yesterday, rainfall records around the region were:

Bundaberg: 15.6mm

Gayndah: 2.8mm

Burrum: 23mm

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