‘Always better to have mud than dust:’ Huge rainfall predicted across weekend
JONDARYAN grain producer Russell Grundy has mixed feelings about the rain forecast to fall across the region in coming days.
On the one hand, it is likely to reduce the quality of his wheat crop that was ready to harvest.
If the Bureau of Meteorology forecasters are correct and the region gets falls upwards of 50mm, then his paddocks will remain waterlogged, damaging the grains.
But on the other hand, good rain now will set him up for a stellar summer crop.
On balance, Mr Grundy is feeling positive.
“It is always better to have mud than dust,” he said.
While the rain is welcome, the timing could not have been worse.
Mr Grundy’s family has grown wheat and barley on their farm south of the Oakey Creek since the 1950s.
In all those years only once – in 2018 – did they miss a winter planting because of drought.
The 2019 winter wasn’t much better with just a portion of the property planted.
A lot was riding on the wheat that is a few days from being washed away.
“We have just finished harvesting our barley, and we were going to get into the wheat, but there is too much green in the grains,” he said.
“If the rain held off for another week we would have had everything harvested, and we would have been sitting back and smiling.
“But we cannot grow the next crop without rain, and that is the farmer’s dilemma.”
Rain will bleach the wheat grains, reducing their value.
At the same time, it would put downward pressure on grain prices as wholesalers will expect more supply in the market later in the year.
It’s a shame because Mr Grundy was on track for a bumper yield.
“We are in a privileged part of the district where we had good rain from January to March then patchy rain until August,” he said.
“For the barley, we’ve got just over five tonnes to the hectares, which is pretty good.”
Originally published as ‘Always better to have mud than dust:’ Huge rainfall predicted across weekend