Hope springs eternal as growers look to skies
They escaped the disaster of a failed winter crop by the skin of their teeth, and the Crothers family, like thousands of other Queensland primary producers, are hoping spring rains will bring healthy summer crops.
After the horrors of 2019, when the state's southeast was gripped by a drought that produced giant dust storms and destructive bushfires, many Queensland farmers have had a reprieve on the weather front.
Brett Crothers, who farms outside Dalby on the Darling Downs, managed to nurture a reasonable winter sorghum crop on the back of rains in January and February, and is now looking towards a summer crop with some optimism.
"It all really depends on some good Spring rain and everyone is really just hanging on that at the moment,'' he said.
There are still a total of 41 councils and 4 part council areas drought-declared. across Queensland, representing just over two-thirds of the state, and a further 31 individual droughted properties in another 12 local government areas.
But the drought is confined to the southern area of the state, with the north enjoying a respite from the dry conditions.
Some centres including Mount Isa and Cloncurry even received rare August rains.
In its latest climate outlook, the Bureau of Meteorology said September to November was likely to be wetter than average across eastern Australia, including southern and central Queensland.
Oceans are expected to cool in coming months in a La Nina develop by the end of spring, which typically results in above average rainfall across eastern Australia.
Originally published as Hope springs eternal as growers look to skies