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Farmers rejoice in rainfall after drought forces sale early

Michael McDouall stands in the rain at his avocado and mango farm. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Michael McDouall stands in the rain at his avocado and mango farm. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

FOR the first time in almost two decades, drought conditions have forced Michael McDouall to water his crop in the wet season.

The horticulturalist, who owns the MMM Mango/Avocado Farm at Kabra with his wife Julie, has owned the farm for the past 18 years.

The 80-acre property has 4000 mango trees and 600 avocado trees.

Michael said they've had one of the driest years on record, but they were given some relief yesterday with the wet weather.

"This is the first time in 18 years we had to water the mangoes in the wet season," he said.

"We had to water quite significantly."

Michael said normally they don't have to worry about watering their avocadoes in the wet season, but this year they've had to water them every fortnight.

"We're lucky, we've got an underground water supply," he said.

It was a disappointing start to the wet season, with several cyclones delivering only wind to the area.

WHERE IT FELL

In the 24 hours to 5pm yesterday:

Emerald 57.4mm

Springsure 54mm

Yeppoon 50mm

Gladstone 50mm

Rockhampton 28.8mm

Blackwater 23.6mm

They received about six inches from Cyclone Dylan but then received only two millimetres in the last lot of rain.

By mid-yesterday they had about 22 millimetres.

"The best part about getting this rain now, at the end of March, is that's it's cooler weather," he said.

"It sinks into the ground, so it's worth twice as much in the cooler weather."

Topics:  avocado crop drought rain