Wet spring starts with rainfall

Bundaberg South State School students Aimee Bishop and Kiana Wondrock enjoy the wet weather.
Bundaberg South State School students Aimee Bishop and Kiana Wondrock enjoy the wet weather. Max Fleet

FRUIT and vegetable growers are preparing for a battle against fungus and disease as spring gets under way in an unusually wet fashion.

Heavy rain lashed the region overnight Sunday, with 68mm recorded in Bargara, 48mm in Gin Gin, 34mm in Childers and 17mm falling in Bundaberg.

Southern Queensland has felt the tail end of a large low pressure system which passed through South Australia and Victoria, causing widespread flooding.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michael Knepp said Bundaberg could expect a wet September as the La Nina weather system shifts into gear.

“It’s typically the driest month for the region, but this year we can expect good, solid rainfall,” he said.

Mr Knepp predicted rain clouds to dissipate today and to return on Friday for more showers.

The rain has been a cause for concern for Gin Gin mango grower Col Jeacocke, who fears the onset of fungus and disease in his orchard.

With mangoes, avocados and macadamias coming into flower, Mr Jeacocke said high rainfall had the potential to be disastrous.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had good rain but it’s come at a very inopportune time,” he said.

“A wet spring can cause you a lot of heartache.”

Mr Jeacocke said paddocks would come alive with tractors and spray units today as farmers prepared to battle the potential onset of anthrax nose fungus and the pathogenic bacteria pseudomonas syringae.

“If you don’t get out there and fight it straight away, disease can set in and cause you some serious problems,” he said.

Mr Jeacocke said continued rain would increase the risk of pseudomonas syringae, which had the potential to destroy entire crops.

“It is a particularly nasty disease and, once it gets going, it runs rampant,” he said.

“If it gets away from you there is nothing you can do to control it.”

While the rain has been a worry for fruit and vegetable growers, it has been welcomed by cattle farmers as they enter the calving season.

Grazier Hazle Marland was thrilled with the 75mm deluge that fell on her cattle property in Molangul on Monday.

“It’s been absolutely, for us, fantastic,” she said.

The wet weather has been critical for Mrs Marland after her property was wiped out by a bushfire late last year.

“We’ve had good steady rainfall this year and this recent rain has come at the perfect time for us,” she said.

“The paddocks are greening up and, if it keeps up, there’s going to be no shortage of feed for the calves.”


Bundaberg: 17mm

Bargara: 68mm

Gin Gin: 48mm

Childers: 34mm

Woongarra: 18mm

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