DRY: Graham Blanch, of Upper Tent Hill, has a worse-case summer plan.
DRY: Graham Blanch, of Upper Tent Hill, has a worse-case summer plan. ALI KUCHEL

Weather outlook could improve

IF the Lockyer Valley receives 200mm of rain this summer, it will be better than last year, Graham Blanch says.

The Charnelle Charolais stud principal at Upper Tent Hill is not too concerned about the Bureau of Meteorology's summer outlook, with some rain expected.

"You have to look at your own situation and how you're going to get through summer and winter as far as you can see," he said.

"The data we get from the BoM site is helpful, but it only comes with a percentage.

"We really do have to prepare for a worse-case scenario, especially from the cattle side."

Mr Blanch's business plan involves stocking up on hay in December to be able to feed his cattle in dry conditions. He expects to start supplementary feeding his herd in the next few weeks.

"We don't normally feed a huge amount in the summer because usually by now we have some grass," he said.

Mr Blanch said he made farming decisions on a weekly basis.

"The forecast indicate we should get at least 200-300mm of rain through the next three months," he said. "If that's right, it will be better than last year."

 

A selection of Charnelle Charolais heifers for the 2019 sale.
A selection of Charnelle Charolais heifers for the 2019 sale. Charnelle Charolais

Hot months forecast for region

MOST of Australia is likely to see a hotter than normal summer period, according to the Bureau of Meteorology's (BoM) 2018-19 Summer Outlook.

BoM manager of long-range forecasting Dr Andrew Watkins said the outlook showed most of the country had an 80 per cent chance of exceeding normal temperatures over summer.

"Summer in Australia typically brings hot temperatures for many communities and the outlook indicates this summer will be no different," Dr Watkins said.

"We've already seen extremely hot temperatures through parts of north and central Queensland in recent days and this should act as an important reminder of the kinds of conditions we can get during an Australian summer.

"In terms of rainfall, the outlook shows a drier than average three months is likely for large parts of Western Australia, Queensland and the Top End of the Northern Territory. For the rest of the country there is no strong push indicating wetter or drier than average conditions."

The Bureau's ENSO outlook remains at Alert, meaning the chance of an El Niño forming in 2018 is at 70 per cent. An El Niño typically brings drier and warmer conditions to eastern Australia but the rainfall effects tend to be less pronounced in summer.

Rainfall during spring has been a mixed bag, with above-average rainfall through southern Western Australia, most of the Northern Territory, northern and western South Australia, small areas in south east Queensland and north east New South Wales.

Meanwhile, Victoria and Tasmania are currently on track for one of their 10 driest springs on record.


RSL reflects on fast and successful year

RSL reflects on fast and successful year

A positive year for Laidley RSL

Christmas Tree provides fun for all

Christmas Tree provides fun for all

Santa dropped in from the sky at the annual Xmas event.

Weather doesn't rain on Forest Hill's parade

Weather doesn't rain on Forest Hill's parade

Town Christmas parties wrap up for 2018.

Local Partners