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Australia - Scenic Rim crops devastated by $10 million storm front

A severe storm that swept through the Scenic Rim on Thursday has devastated farmers in the Kalbar and Fassifern areas, with damage estimated at $10 million.

Kalbar vegetable producers Kalfresh were hit hard, as was the farm of neighbour Ben Moore who grows corn, carrots, green beans and lucerne.

Hail damaged carrots are no longer fit for market.
Hail damaged carrots are no longer fit for market.CREDIT:FAIRFAX MEDIA.

Mr Moore said his crops had been wiped out by the vicious hailstorm.

“We’re looking at 100 per cent loss for nearly every farm across this little valley,” he said.

“A lot of resources have gone into growing these crops – we all know how dry it’s been so we have put a lot into irrigating and fertilising and that comes with monstrous power bills too.

“It’s not just me, this has happened to 10 of my best mates who are farmers as well. It was brutal, it didn’t miss anyone.”

Mr Moore said the damage will affect two crops, the winter vegetables that were yet to be harvested and the spring crops.

“Half an hour of hail did that, but we were lucky because at least our infrastructure is still intact. One property had an irrigator tip over.

“Our houses are intact but this is going to put a massive hole in cash flow.

“We’re just going to have to wait for it to dry out and start over.”

Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause said he had spent much of Friday visiting properties that had lost just about everything in the storm.

“At 10.30 this morning I was at a Kalbar property where there was still two to three inches of hail sitting on the ground,” he said, on Friday.

“I saw what that storm has done. It has sliced through carrots and onions and there was a corn crop that looked as if it had been mowed down with machinery.

“It was the worst time to happen, because after all the time and expense that went into growing those crops and they were basically ready to harvest.”

Mayor Greg Christensen said the council and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority would be visiting affected producers on Saturday to inspect the damage and ensure those affected could return to full production as soon as possible.

Hail damaged carrots are no longer fit for market.
Hail damaged carrots are no longer fit for market.CREDIT:FAIRFAX MEDIA.

“Anecdotal estimates put the damage at upwards of $10 million so we will be exploring all avenues to help those affected in our community,” he said.

“This area to the Scenic Rim’s west near Kalbar was the latest in south-east Queensland to be impacted by severe storm cells in recent weeks and it looks like we might be in for a long and hard storm season.

“This is an urgent reminder to all of us to focus on our ‘get ready’ plans for storm season and ensure our properties are prepared and properly maintained and that our families are also properly prepared with a ‘what if’ if plan.”

Cr Christensen said he had been in contact with Mr Krause and federal member for Wright Scott Buchholz, who shared his concern for those affected and would join the mayor and QRA representatives in meeting local producers tomorrow.

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