Vegetable and herb farms in the Logan district, south of Brisbane, face a long road to recovery following the devastating floods triggered by Tropical Cyclone Debbie, according to industry bodies AUSVEG and Growcom.
The Logan district is a significant production area for cucumbers, eggplants, Asian vegetables, and herbs, and supplies Rocklea Markets, Woolworths, Coles, and other smaller markets.
The agriculture sector of the region is reported to contribute over $116 million to the economy.
“The floodwaters may be starting to recede, but the battle is far from over for growers in the Logan district, as it will take some time for many of these producers to recover from the damage caused by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent floods,” said AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside.
“The growing operations located in the Logan River and Albert River catchments sustained significant flood damage, with reports that the Logan River peaked at an astonishing 20.7 metres. This has been the worst flood for the area in recent years and the majority of crops and infrastructure, including shade cloths and semi-hydroponic setups, have suffered severe damage.
“Growers will need to wait for the mud to dry out before they can prepare their soil and infrastructure for re-planting. In the meantime, it is imperative that the state and federal governments ensure that our growers and communities affected by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent floods receive the highest level of assistance possible to help them clean up, rebuild, and recover.”
AUSVEG is a horticultural body representing Australia’s vegetable and potato growers.
Growcom, the industry body representing Queensland production horticulture, is continuing to visit growing operations in the Logan district and other affected areas to collect evidence and prepare damage estimates.
“The flood-ravaged farms that we visited in the Logan district were nearing harvest, so it has been a devastating setback for these businesses. It is a little-known pocket of Queensland that contributes significantly to the country’s agricultural output,” said Growcom CEO Pat Hannan.
“Many growers have already provided information on estimated damage to their businesses, which will go a long way in helping Growcom and AUSVEG advocate for the highest level of disaster relief to be directed to regions in Queensland affected by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding.
“It is important that all affected industry members continue to send us any evidence or data, including photographs or videos, so the Queensland horticulture industry can recover from this disaster as soon as possible and continue its vital role in feeding the nation.”
Growers affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and subsequent floods can contact Growcom on 07 3620 3844 or at email@example.com to discuss support options or to provide damage assessments.
A copy of the natural disaster damage estimate form is also available at growcom.com.au/damage-estimate.