24 January, 2024
Growers feeling the pain of rain
The flow-on effect of ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper and the extreme weather following it has caused major problems for local farmers, with many losing up to millions of dollars worth of assets and income.
While some farmers in Biboohra, Lakeland and Tully lost crops, others are now dealing with extra costs for freight as the Palmerston Highway is closed.
Others are cleaning up landslips, broken driveways and damaged crops while cattlemen are recovering from loss of stock.
According to FNQ Grower’s chair Joe Moro, papaya plantations were mostly impacted by the extreme weather and is predicting a price hike for the fruit in the coming months.
Mr Moro’s mango farm was also impacted during the event, losing several mangoes and damaging packing boxes and equipment.
He said now is a tough time for farmers, with many being faced with the looming question of “what now?”.
“I think, personally, a lot of people understand that farming is not for the faint-hearted,” Mr Moro said.
“It’s a huge financial cost to us because we aren’t going to make the money that we would have, and on top of that, there’s the extra expenses of cleaning the place up.
“I am sure there will be some farmers who are thinking about their future in the industry and whether or not they can cope with the anxiety as they go through this.
“I think most will stay, but we are concerned as an industry, and I think a lot of people are worried about the wellbeing of our farmers.”
Despite the struggles growers are currently having, Mr Moro believes they will recover and is encouraging those affected by the floods, farmers or not, to apply for grants and support.
If you have been impacted by recent weather events and are struggling, there is support available. Contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 support.