Isolated hail smashes Darling Downs crops

Isolated hail smashes Darling Downs crops

Weather
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Tuesday's thunderstorms were a mixed bag for Darling Downs farmers.

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One Tree Agriculture's property Dewai at Jandowae was blanketed with hail. Picture: Ashley Tunks

One Tree Agriculture's property Dewai at Jandowae was blanketed with hail. Picture: Ashley Tunks

Tuesday's thunderstorms were a mixed bag for Darling Downs farmers, with some celebrating isolated falls, while others had their winter crop hopes dashed.

John Alexander, Walmer, Jandowae, was mid-way through harvesting his crop of Nazma faba beans when the storm hit.

"We'd started harvesting our faba beans at 8.30am in the morning," Mr Alexander said.

"About 11.30am we noticed a fairly large build up of cloud that looked like rain to the south west of us.

"So we decided to get out of the paddock, empty the chaser bin, pull down the augers and get everything under cover just in case. Then we sat back and watched it."

They had harvested 60 hectares of faba beans; two thirds of the 50ha still in the paddock has split pods and peas on the ground.

At least 50 per cent of his 110 hectares of mostly Spartacus barley appears to have been damaged.

The patchy nature of the weather system was evident at Cambridge Downs, Surat, where the Price family recorded 50mm in one paddock and just 2mm across the road.

Tayla Price said the header had only been in the paddock for an hour when the heavens opened.

"We were dropping a sample of the crop to Meandarra depot and while we were sitting there waiting we got a phone call from our header driver saying that he's pulled up and there was eight to 10mm hail stones," Ms Price said.

"And it was pretty much just in the paddock that he was in."

Ms Price said they had planted their winter crop on a full profile and received just 5mm of in-crop rain.

"We need 250mm to be able to plant a summer crop, so only 200mm to go," she said.

"The water was able to sit on the top and soak in on the cultivation, but where it was all compacted around the crop, on the roads, it ran off and straight into the dams, so the dams will be full.

"You could just look out and it was just water sitting on top of the crop."

On Tuesday afternoon the Bureau of Meteorology issued severe thunderstorm warnings between Dalby, Chinchilla and Kingaroy. They later issued warnings for Woorabinda and Biloela.

"Storms in the Western Downs and Maranoa were sitting under some very cold air and they produced a large amount of small hail," BoM meteorologist Jess Gardner said.

In Central Queensland, Jambin recorded 36mm, while Craiglands received 40mm. Dawson Range South received 49mm and 27mm was recorded at Lonesome Creek.

Meanwhile in the North Burnett, Coonambula received 57mm and the parched Southern Downs town of Warwick recorded 17mm.

The story Isolated hail smashes Darling Downs crops first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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