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Dry start for 2014 as farmers and gardeners feel the heat

Henny Ring has used water conservative practices to maintain her garden through the dry, windy weather.
Henny Ring has used water conservative practices to maintain her garden through the dry, windy weather. Valerie Horton

A DRY January has put the squeeze on Fraser Coast farmers, increased fire danger risks and stripped the colour from local gardens.

Point Vernon woman Henny Ring said had to adapt her quarter-acre garden to cope with minimal rainfall when January only met 6% of its rainfall average.

"We've had hardly anything at all," she said.

"You can't keep watering - everyone's in the same boat."

Just 19.2mm has fallen so far this year, compared to an average of 315.4mm.

Mrs Ring said you could put a lot of money into establishing a garden but one dry season was enough to kill off plants and young trees.

"Gardens have to be pretty hearty to last around here," she said.

For Nikenbah farmers Shane and Bonita Doyle, their livelihoods are dependent on good growing conditions.

As Fraser Coast farmers for 25 years they know how much rainfall can influence their crop yield.

"It's so dry - we desperately need rain," Mr Doyle said.

Water cartage services for the Fraser Coast said they've had a steady flow of custom since drier weather moved in last October.

Platypus Water Haulage owner Steve Malmborg said callouts for water had been steady and on the increase.

Mr Malmborg suggested residents should clear gutters to ensure they were capturing as much rain as possible from each rain shower.

"Over the last couple years there hasn't been as much demand with floods and heavy rainfall," he said.
"We're starting to see that turn around again."

Topics:  dry farmers farms fraser coast gardeners hervey bay maryborough weather