BITTERSWEET: Ron Gehrke said while recent rain had been fantastic, a lot more is needed.
BITTERSWEET: Ron Gehrke said while recent rain had been fantastic, a lot more is needed. Dominic Elsome

October rains leave region desperate for follow up

THE Lockyer Valley and Somerset regions have changed colour from mottled brown to a pale green during the past week.

Rainfall around the region has lifted hopes of primary producers, but the drought that is gripping much of eastern Australia is far from over.

Summerholm cattle dealer Ron Gehrke received about 90mm during the past week on his 350-acre property, and said the rainfall had been a good start, but it was by no means the end.

"It's good, soaking rain,” Mr Gehrke said.

"This is really good rain to get things going, and now if we could get some heavier stuff to get some water in the damns. We need a lot of rain.”

Summerholm cattle dealer Ron Gehrke inspects his 350 acre property after recent rains.
Mr Gehrke points out cracks in his soil that recent rain was unable to restore. Dominic Elsome

Mr Gehrke usually runs up to 300 head of cattle on his property, but because of the drought has been forced to destock to 200.

He expects to further reduce his herd within the next few weeks to less than 100 head due to the cost of feed and to give his pastures a chance to recover.

"It's the worst it's ever been to buy feed - the hardest ever and the dearest ever,” he said.

Mr Gehrke said the region would desperately need similar rain to the previous weeks within the month to have any serious, long-term benefit.

Rain is expected to continue for much of the next week, however the falls are not expected to be as high as they have been over the past week.

A shower or two is expected today with a possible storm in the afternoon. Tomorrow will have a slightly greater chance of rainfall with showers and a possible storm most likely in the afternoon and evening, with up to 5mm of rain falling.

It's a similar story on Friday, with up to 3mm of rain possibly falling, before the skies clear on Saturday for a mostly clear day.

Sunday will see a possible shower as will Monday.