Drought is on our doorstep and hurting farmers

THE Fraser Coast hasn't had a decent downpour since March last year- and it has put immense pressure on the region's farmers.

When the Mary River barrage dropped to one metre many of the local farmers have lost irrigation supply as SunWater cut access to medium priority customers.

Maryborough Sugar Factory general manager Stewart Norton said there had only been 240mm of rain during this crop season, which is the lowest on record since 1870.

"It's diabolical," he said.

"Those that do have irrigation have sunk an awful lot of money into getting their crops going and now the irrigation scheme's been cut off it may be all for nothing."

Mr Norton has organised a "make it rain" party for the local canegrowers on Sunday to raise the spirits of suffering farmers.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he had been speaking with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry about drought declaration for the region.

He said, thanks to discussions with State Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh, the next meeting of the Local Drought Committee was brought forward to March .

Cr O'Connell said the council also moved a motion to help farmers and primary producers get their drought claim forms to the department because agriculture was one of the region's key sectors.

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Topics:  drought farmers maryborough maryborough sugar factory