By CAITLIN CROWLEY

DARLING DOWNS farmers are bracing for what could be their fourth flood since November, after heavy downpours on the weekend and forecasts of more rain and possible thunderstorms through to the end of this week.

Bowenville crop farmer Lance Wise said his property had received 50mm since Friday and that he expected paddocks to flood by this weekend.

“It’s definitely a kick in the guts,” he said.

The timing is far from ideal for those trying to harvest cotton or what’s left of the summer sorghum crop.

Mr Wise said his plans to plant barley and have contracted harvesting completed was now on hold until the weather improved.

Water across Auchmah Road near the Warrego Highway at Bowenville.

Large parts of country Queensland are on flood watch. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a sweeping warning to communities from the Far North through to the western and central areas.

Widespread heavy rainfall is expected to develop across central and north-western parts of the state from Tuesday morning, shifting to the tropical east coast during Wednesday before moving south along the coast over the next couple of days.

A soggy sorghum crop at Kingsthorpe waiting for harvest.

It’s been a wet and wild summer in the Bowenville area for Kim Bremner, who said his crops had been hit by three floods and two hail storms.

“The first flood, we were celebrating because it filled our storages,” Mr Bremner said.

“We had another flood at the end of March and another one at the end of April.

“The last one wasn’t as much rain but because it came down heavier, it did more damage.”

Kim Bremner checking out flooded paddocks.
Flooding at Kim Bremner’s Darling Downs property earlier this year.

Mr Bremner said he was one of few local growers who had managed to make a start on cotton picking, but that’s ground to a halt.

“We have casual employees sitting around waiting to harvest,” he said.

“Every time they ring up and say, have we got work today? No, it’s too wet.”

Mr Bremner also has flood-damaged irrigation infrastructure and channels which need repairing, but said he couldn’t start repair work until the area dried out.

Kim Bremner’s crops and irrigation equipment swamped earlier this year.
Flood damage at Mr Bremner’s farm.

Lance Wise said flood erosion was a major issue for farms across the region. He said he was also concerned about the impact more flooding would have on local roads.

“It’s been too wet for them to fix them, some of the roads around here are absolutely trashed and more rain’s going to make them worse,” Mr Wise said.

“But trucks have to keep moving, people have to keep moving.”

To see the latest weather warnings in your area visit the Bureau of Meteorology website, www.bom.gov.au.

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