While some areas in north-west Queensland missed out on drenching rain this season, one grazier says his property is looking the best it has in 20 years as he prepares for the mustering season.
Mick Seymour, from Split Rock station near Camooweal on the Queensland–Northern Territory border, has started mustering late this year to concentrate on drier properties he owns further south.
While the January rain totals in Camooweal this year were more than 50mm above average, February and March were well below average.
However, Mr Seymour said with plenty of rain in 2016 the country only needed small falls for the country to respond.
"It was a pretty long and good wet here, and unfortunately some people didn't get it," Mr Seymour said.
"But this is always a pretty safe little area here along the bitumen for some reason."
Late mustering to concentrate on dry properties
The Seymours also own properties further south in the Winton and Tambo areas, which missed out most of the summer rain.
As a result they left the mustering on Split Rock late and concentrated on de-stocking at Tambo.
"We had a pretty good season at Split Rock so these cows are holding on a lot better than the Tambo ones," Mr Seymour said.
Although the property at Tambo had dried off, Mr Seymour still planned to send stock there from Split Rock.
"There's quite beautiful big weaners [at Split Rock]; it's a shame that we're not closer to a market," he said.
"Unfortunately the distance is a bit of a killer with shrinkage and everything else.
"So we process them here, tail them and educate them and take them on to Tambo closer to the sales."
Patchy storms leave some landholders to miss out
Mick Seymour's son Will, who lives on Split Rock, is a helicopter mustering contractor for other stations in the area.
Contrary to Split Rock, Will said he had to start mustering early on some stations further north because they missed out on the rain.
"Some of my clients have multiple operations, like we do, and they've decided to do this end first before they go down and do other places," he said.
"I had a pretty early start, I got three or four clients finished up before Easter."
Will said while more storms came over the gulf country than in previous years, it was not the widespread rain they usually expected.
"A few place just north of here, it's not as good there as what it probably should be," he said.
"They've just missed out because there's only little cells coming through; it wasn't the big monsoon rain that was wide covered."ABC