KEEP IT COMING: Raneece Lerch, with her father-in-law Greg Lerch and Hank the dog, at their Laidley Heights farm. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
KEEP IT COMING: Raneece Lerch, with her father-in-law Greg Lerch and Hank the dog, at their Laidley Heights farm. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

Why growers need another 100+mm rain to end the drought

THE drought is far from over - that's the word from primary producers in the Lockyer Valley.

Third-generation vegetable grower Greg Lerch says it's the worst drought he has ever seen.

And despite receiving 128mm of rain in the latest rain episodes, he said the same amount, if not more, was required to top up dams and the underground system.

"It was cruel the way it looked before; it was a bit depressing. But (now) everyone's got a bit cheery" he said.

Production was forced to a halt at two of the Lerch's Lockyer Valley properties, mainly due to the lack of water.

But with winter production about to ramp up, Mr Lerch said the rain had improved the soil profile.

Farming alongside his son Andrew and daughter-in-law Raneece, the Lerch's will still cut back their winter production.

"I had to cut back a fair bit last year," Mr Lerch said.

He said ideally, follow-up rain would help kick the drought.

"It's all visual," he said. "The creeks got a bit of a run, but it was up and down. I think minimal went underground.

"You really need the creeks running for about a month - the creek runs and the bores don't just go up magically - it takes time."

As of December, 67.4 per cent of Queensland was drought declared, which included 41 councils and four part-councils.

There were also 16 individual droughted properties in a further five local government areas.

The first drought declarations started in 2013, which included western and central Queensland local government areas.

According to the State Government, revoking a declaration will only occur after widespread rainfall, ensuring there is enough pasture and water to last until the next expected rainfall.

Mr Lerch said it wasn't over yet.

"The visual effect will change if we don't get any follow up," he said.