Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Flood debris clogs harvesters and mills

Eliza Rogers, Monday July 22, 2013 - 09:12 EST
ABC image
Cane farmers in the Wide Bay have been coming across very unwelcome surprises during harvest. - ABC

It's the task every flood-affected cane farmer was dreading - harvest.

Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald destroyed up to 90 per cent of some crops across southern Queensland, and swept logs, tin and even furniture into fields.

Now the debris is proving a headache for harvesters and millers.

Burnett Heads cane and vegetable farmer Francis Attard was hit by three tornadoes and has found tin, fencing, chairs and wheelie bins in his cane.

He said it's disruptive and costly.

"They've got to stop every time they find something, we haven't had anyone walking ahead this year - it all costs money."

He said they have to remove and dump it, but there's no guarantee that will be free of charge.

The flood debris isn't just affecting farmers - sugar mills are dealing with extra mud and timber in their deliveries.

David Pickering from Bundaberg Sugar says it's slowed processing a bit.

"We had some tin through at Millaquin (Mill), and as far as mud levels, yeah, they're a little higher this year, so that's slowed us down a little. Probably just drops it about 20 per cent on rate when we get a lot of mud through, it just depends on, if there's a shower of rain, then we slow down more around those days."

Canegrowers says many farmers will have to resort to cane burning during and after harvest.

Industry says the weather events have not had a bad impact on CCS (sugar content) values.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Banking royal commission: Youi insurance left storm victims exposed to lead dust and mould

15:49 EST

A young family was left without a proper roof, exposing three children and their pregnant mother to lead dust, after insurer Youi failed to repair their roof for a year and half after a hailstorm.

Cyclone energy dissipates rapidly in northern hemisphere

13:56 EST

After an incredibly active week of typhoons, hurricanes and tropical storms in the northern hemisphere, the atmosphere has settled down noticeably this week.

Veteran mayor steps aside as drought takes toll on rural community leadership

13:38 EST

Drought is taking its toll on communities across the nation and in many cases the ripple effects will continue to be felt for years, including in local economies and community leadership.