Cyclones trickle down to Outback

Courier Mail – Brisbane Queensland Australia

Michael Wray

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/

Rain has saved the graziers working the usually wide brown pastures of Queensland’s remote channel country.

But it wasn’t a recent shower that the graziers have to thank.

It was rain which fell about six months ago and more than 100km away, when cyclones Larry and Monica blew across Queensland.

“We’re in pretty serious drought and that virtually saved us, otherwise we would have virtually destocked,” said grazier John Cobb from his station 135km north of Birdsville.

The water from the cycone had taken about six weeks to flood down the inland waterways, along the Eyre Creek, past Mr Cobb’s home and into a swamp.

“That water was running through there for over three months waiting for the swamp to fill up,” he said.

Mr Cobb’s story could echo through Channel Country, where the floodplains are normally a dirty red mix of thick, fine sand and millions of even redder rocks.

Farmers report the year 2000 as the last year of decent rain.

But as the floodwaters passed south, that same rocky ground has recenlty been covered iwth a veil of green grass, speckled with bright yellow wild flowers.

On July 14, about 5cm of rain fell on Glengyle, greening the landscapre further.

“It’s good feed but it’s only temporary feed,” Mr Cobb said. “I’ve had enough of a flood here to hang on until Christmas, especially now this rain filled our dams.

“It will get all the cattle in good condition going into summer, then you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting storms once December comes along.

“I think I can hang on. I’m not panicking at this stage but February if there’s no summer rain, we’ll be back to where we started this year.

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