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Darling Downs farmers pray for rain as drought hits hard

PRAYING FOR RAIN: Trevor Nielsen checks his barley crop. He is worried about the lack of rain on the Darling Downs.
PRAYING FOR RAIN: Trevor Nielsen checks his barley crop. He is worried about the lack of rain on the Darling Downs. Meghan Harris

DARLING Downs farmer Trevor Nielsen is praying for rain.

He is hoping Mother Nature will be on his side as the summer season approaches.

Mr Nielsen said it was vital the region received some heavy downpours.

"We really need rain. Sorghum, our summer crop, has just been planted and it desperately needs to be watered," he said.

"It's too late to save what's left of the barley, our winter crop, but now is the time for rain to fall - otherwise we will have nothing this summer.

"It would be a massive boost for the sorghum."

Mr Nielsen has been working on farms since he was in high school.

He bought his own farm, Eltrevaine, in Kingsthorpe 48 years ago and now grows barley, sorghum, white French millet and has beef cattle.

He said the lack of rain was really damaging for his farm.

"I have been a farmer all my life and this would be one of the worst droughts I have seen in my time," he said.

"We got a little bit lucky in May this year with a heavy downpour.

"If we didn't have that we wouldn't have grown any winter crops but we can't survive on one lot of rain a year.

"That is just not how farming works.

"I feel sorry for people further west because they haven't had good rain in years and I know people who have had to sell a lot of their stock.

"Their places are completely drought stricken.

"There doesn't seem to be any relief in sight."

Mr Nielsen said as a farmer he replied on the rain.

"When you are dealing with Mother Nature, it can be a bit difficult," he said.

"No two seasons are ever the same.

"Sometimes she can get cranky but you just have to roll with the punches and wait till she decides to throw you a helping hand.

"There isn't anything we can do except sit back, wait and pray for some rain.

"If it rained on a regular basis, farming would be a great life but because we have completely irregular rainfall in Australia, unfortunately farming isn't that easy."

Topics:  darling downs drought farmers mother mother nature toowoomba wildweather


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