Farmers alike are lamenting the lack of rain as they watch their summer crops struggle along.
While the 11mm that fell on Breeza on Monday was a welcome relief, the cotton at “Newhaven” is still at risk.
This year, the Tudgeys planted 500 hectares of cotton in early October – “fifty-fifty” dryland and irrigated.
Farmer David Tudgey said yield and quality will be an issue for the dryland cotton this year.
“It’s not going to be that big a crop,” he said.
“Some of [the buds] are cracking immaturely; that’s where you have quality issues.”
It is a disappointing turn after a “beautiful start”.
“We had a reasonably full profile before we planted our cotton crops,” Mr Tudgey said.
“It was warm in September and it rained in October so it established the crop really well.
“It rained a bit in December and it was looking quite promising.
“You survive on your subsoil moisture through January, February.”
RELATED STORY: Wild weather brings welcome rain to area | Photos & Video
The irrigated cotton is faring better, but is dependent on resources.
“Hot, dry weather is great growing weather for irrigated cotton if you can keep water up to it,” Mr Tudgey said.
“It’s going to be a big stretch and drain on our water allocations.
“We’re probably getting around this crop once every 10 days.”
The farmer said rain “might just get us to the end without another irrigation” and in comparison to the dryland cotton, there are “plenty” of buds on the irrigated cotton.
The Tudgeys have been producing cotton since 1992 and planted 1300 hectares last year, which also struggled in the heat.
“They ended up reasonable crops [but] it was a hot, dry summer,” Mr Tudgey said.
“I’m getting sick of these dry summers.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.