The end of the summer has bought about an expansion in the drought declarations across the state with the Bundaberg region being added to the already 84.29% of Queensland officially drought declared. This is a worrying start to the typically dryer winter months.
The Bundaberg region was drought declared by the Local Drought Committee, effective from 1 March. This enables those in the newly drought declared region to access Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS). Eligible producers they have access to DRAS fodder, water freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates.
For further information is available through the DRAS and the eligibility criteria.
For localsied postcode specific support use the farmers disaster support search function to see what is available in your area HERE.
The Local Drought Committee will likely meet again soon, to discuss the seasonal conditions, including rainfall, availability of pasture and water and assess agricultural and horticultural industries.
The Bureau of Meteorology recently changing the ENSO outlook to an El Nino WATCH, this means there is a 50% chance of an El Niño developing in 2017, which is about twice the normal likelihood. El Niño is normally associated with lower than average winter/spring rainfall over much of eastern Australia. This is a concerning forecast development considering already high levels of drought declarations in Queensland.