Farmer calls for rain dance as drought takes its toll
AVOCADO farmer Barry Trousdell is calling on South Burnett residents to help out the region's farmers by doing a rain dance.
Like all farmers in the region, the Mount Binga Orchard owner is feeling the effects of ongoing drought conditions.
"It is putting a strain on things and it is really worrying me whether we can retain the crop with the dry weather, I am hoping we can,” Mr Trousdell said.
"A rain dance - that would change everything for everyone on the farms, but I don't how you can make it rain.
"We are in the middle of flowering now and we have irrigation but need an extra hand from the sky.”
Mr Trousdell said his property hadn't received any decent rainfall that wasn't part of a storm since 2013.
In addition to the drought, the orchard is still recovering from last October's devastating hail storm which slashed Mr Trousdell's crop of 70,000 avocados to 10,000.
"I hope we don't get wild storm like we did last year, but with weather you are more likely to get a wild storm than rain,” he said.
While times are tough at the moment, Mr Trousdell said he was looking forward to celebrating all things avocados at the annual Blackbutt Avocado Festival.
"I feel it is good for the town because all towns have a different theme and this is ours,” he said.
Mr Trousdell has put $1000 forward for the winner of the hotly contested avo roll competition at the festival.
He said he was always impressed by the enthusiasm and performance of festival-goers.
"I always come last because everyone is really good at it,” he said.