Last Updated: April 22, 2014

Weather: Canberra 2°C - 18°C . Partly cloudy.

National

Rain won't help struggling Qld graziers

CENTRAL Queensland graziers are not expecting drought-breaking rain from ex-Cyclone Dylan.

The storm, which has been downgraded to a tropical low, is expected to reach Queensland's central west later on Friday, with predictions of moderate falls between 20mm and 50mm.

While any rain is welcome, farmers are not expecting it to make much of a difference, Northern Gulf Graziers Group chairman Barry Hughes says.

"One rain fall event won't make a difference. There needs to be prolonged rain," Mr Hughes said.

"We didn't get any rain during the December/January period and we have one month left (before hitting the typically dry season)."

He said graziers across the state, in particular in the lower part of the Gulf of Carpentaria, are desperate, relying on emergency fodder and water or resorting to killing cattle.

Meatworks are also being inundated as farmers try to offload their cattle, pushing meat prices down.

"Without any rainfall, there's no grass and cattle need to be sold off," Mr Hughes said.

"This has put enormous pressure on the domestic market, pushing prices down."

Mr Hughes and graziers will meet with federal and state agricultural ministers in St George, more than 500km west of Brisbane, tomorrow to discuss more assistance for farmers.

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