St George cotton grower Cleave Rogan’s crop is in desperate need of a drink.
St George cotton grower Cleave Rogan’s crop is in desperate need of a drink. Contributed

Cotton growers desperate for rain at St George

THE fate of St George cotton grower Cleave Rogan's crop depends on the amount of Western Downs flood water that makes its way down the Condamine River.

He and other growers in the region are quickly running out of water as a lack of rain and flood flows along the Balonne River leave them desperate for moisture.

His situation is in stark contrast to this time last year, when floods damaged much of the region's cotton.

About 25 per cent of the crop he planted in October has already been abandoned for lack of water.  

"We started off with a full area planted," Mr Rogan said.  

The outlook was positive at the time, with a full complement of water in his property's dam and Beardmore Dam also full.  

But the rain or river flow he and other growers expected has not come.  

"We are all watching in earnest this flow coming down the river.  

"A lot of production was lost through flooding last year.  

"Ironically, 12 months later we have the opposite and a very dry stretch of months."  

He said he was remaining positive despite the pressure of the situation.  

"If we still get a flow in the river there will be a lot of potential."  

Balonne Shire Mayor Donna Stewart said Beardmore Dam was down to 15 per cent capacity and she estimated Jack Taylor Weir was at 30%.  

Cr Stewart said the flow from the heavy rain in the Western Downs at the weekend was being monitored closely.  

"A lot of growers are in dire straits."  


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