WILD WEATHER: Andrew Holmes’ flattened field.
WILD WEATHER: Andrew Holmes’ flattened field. Peter Carruthers

Willy willy hits trial cane crop

ANDREW Holmes woke to an unusual sight on Friday morning.

His cane fields on Shute Harbour Road in Cannon Valley had been flattened by a "willy willy".

"Oh, didn't she blow," he said, of the wild weather last Thursday.

Mr Holmes was growing a newer variety of cane called Q242 in the affected field, developed to withstand poorer soils and planted as an experiment.

It did blow, but it wasn't the variety that caused the cane to fall over, Mr Holmes said.

A contract cane planter, Mr Holmes has had to suspend planting due to about 100mm of rain falling on Friday.

The expected delay in getting cane in the ground by three weeks and the chance that cane already planted will be lost will affect farmers at harvest time come 2017.

"We will be behind," Mr Holmes said.

A flattened cane adjacent Shute Harbour Road.
A flattened cane adjacent Shute Harbour Road. Peter Carruthers

"On the southern side of town (Proserpine) it gets cold earlier.

"So if I don't plant until May the frosts will come in and it will burn it off," he said.

Still, many farmers were glad of the rain to refill dams and bores.

The average rainfall for March at the Proserpine Airport is 208.5mm but only 43mm fell last month.

Mr Holmes said the dry weather at the end of last year and in March and April was because of a 10-year weather cycle.

"My grandfather used to say you would get 10 years of wet weather and then you would get 10 years of dry weather," he said.

"It's not the first time it has happened."


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