Big wet hits CQ

Big wet hits CQ
Monday, 6 Dec 2010

Graziers and farmers across Central Queensland are coming to grips with crop and infrastructure damage from wide-spread flooding, which has the potential to rival the region's record floods in 2008, warns AgForce.

AgForce vice president and Emerald beef, cotton and grain producer Ian Burnett saw the worst-hit areas during an aerial assessment this afternoon.

"The worst hit areas are on the Lower Nogoa and Comet rivers, with large tracts of grazing land, dryland farming and irrigated cotton impacted," Mr Burnett said.

"About 5000 hectares of cotton is under water with other areas inundated, representing a yield impact.

"The cost to the cotton industry will be significant given the strong price and the large area planted in CQ, with losses estimated at 62,000 bales representing approximately $31 million income loss to the region.

"CQ is a significant beef producing region, but there are no apparent livestock losses. Fortunately, the good season means cattle are in good condition and there is pasture available on high areas, so livestock can maintain nutrition even if they are isolated," Mr Burnett said.

"However, with the wet season just starting it will be months before some producers can move cattle off-property to sell so there will be a lag-time in production."

With more rain forecast for the region, Mr Burnett said AgForce will continue to closely monitor the situation facing producers in CQ.

"We are liaising with our members and staff on-the ground, Queensland Primary Industries, local governments and Emergency Management Queensland to coordinate support to properties in affected areas as needed.

"Our immediate concern is to make sure people and livestock are safe and to assess the damage to crops and infrastructure to ensure the situation is managed."

AgForce is also closely monitoring seasonal impacts in other parts of the state.

"Many producers in the south west and southern inland areas have been unable to finish their wheat harvest, while many growers on the Downs have had their crops destroyed or downgraded," Mr Burnett said.

"Some growers have even replanted summer crops up to three times because of the weather pattern. It has certainly made for a challenging year in farming."

Big wet hits CQ

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