DRY: Denis Schultz is in need of some rain this month.
DRY: Denis Schultz is in need of some rain this month. Katherine Morris

No rain for some farmers in the South Burnett

DESPITE warnings of an El Niño, many farmers in the South Burnett have been pleasantly surprised by the stability of the season.

But Mondure farmer Denis Schultz is still chasing the rain.

"It's been pretty poor, very poor rain and no runoff," Mr Schultz said.

"The grass is cooking, it has just been burning."

The 62-year-old was brought up on the property and has worked the same land for the majority of his life.

While many farmers in the South Burnett were happy with the season, Mr Schultz said his patch had all but missed out.

"It hurts, it surely hurts," Mr Schultz said.

"You plant your crop, you work the ground and do everything the same as your neighbour, but you don't get the rain and you wonder what you've done wrong."

El Niño is generally associated with a reduction of rainfall and although most Australian droughts have been associated with the phenomenon, analysis of past events shows widespread drought does not occur every time.

The twists and turns in the ongoing dialogue between ocean and atmosphere in the Pacific can have different effects on climatic conditions in different areas and troughs may occur on some land and miss others.

Compared to other landholders, Mr Schultz said his 100-hectare stretch was quite small.

"I'm only small and I keep my head above water, but once you've got your head underwater, you don't last," Mr Schultz said.

"I'm irrigating my peanuts now and they're taking half a meg an acre - that's how dry it is.

"The water may as well be run back down the gully."

Proston beef producer Scott Dunlop said it had also been up and down in his neck of the woods.

"We had a good early break then it got dry again and probably in January our country would've burnt," Mr Dunlop said.

"The day before Australia Day and the week after we had about 100mm and it was quite good."

BGA Agriservices salesman and animal health specialist Wayne Beddows said it had been a slow start to those out towards Boondooma and Durong but picked up late January.

Although the season had been okay, he said there were still farmers who wanted more surface runoff.

"There are still areas who would like more runoff rain, especially where they're relying on dam water," Mr Beddows said.

"Those who are relying completely on above ground water, if they're not getting adequate runoff, they could run out of water for crops."

Mr Schultz said it was always best to keep a sense of humour and battle on.

"It's always been that way, our storms just aren't as general as they used to be," Mr Schultz said.

"Where the storms used to come up, we'd have our name on it, but now they go to the west or the east and just jump around you.

"We only had 15mm of rain the other day and it was just enough to put some moisture in the shade and the plant sucks that up pretty well.

"But I know the weather is going to be very hot in the coming days and only tomorrow will tell."

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