Vegetable farms still have many hurdles to overcome after floods

Vegetable and herb farms in the Logan and Scenic Rim districts face a long road to recovery following the devastating floods triggered by Tropical Cyclone Debbie, according to leading industry bodies AUSVEG and Growcom. 

AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside said 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.

Mr Whiteside said 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,” he said . 

“The growing operations located in the Logan River and Albert River catchments sustained significant flood damage.

“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. 

Mr Whiteside said 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.”

Growcom, the industry body representing Queensland production horticulture, is continuing to visit growing operations in affected areas to collect evidence and prepare damage estimates.

“The flood-ravaged farms that we visited were nearing harvest, so it has been a devastating setback for these businesses. It is a little-known pocket of the state that contributes significantly to the country’s agricultural output,” said Growcom CEO Pat Hannan. 

“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 admin@growcom.com.au 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