Cyclone Debbie hits Queensland agriculture

North Queensland farmers are today confronting the damage caused by Cyclone Debbie as fears of food price hikes emerge.

As 7news reports, the region is known as Australia’s winter food bowl, with crops including tomatoes, bananas, capsicum, sugar cane and more.

“In terms of the value of possible destruction, industry groups in that region have forecast up to $1 billion worth of damage – and that’s just to crops,’’ National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson Simson told 7News.

North Queensland is famous for its sugar cane and, while not completely destroyed, much of this year’s crop has sustained damage.

Canegrowers CEO Dan Galligan told APP that the full extent of the damage will not be clear until June, when the crush takes place.

“It was a slow cyclone so the cane did take a fair hammering,” he said.

“A substantial proportion of the crop was flattened, but we were expecting that.”

He added that cane which had not completely snapped off could be salvaged but its quality and sugar content would be adversely affected.

The damage has revived memories of Cyclone Yasi which hit North Queensland in 2011 and resulted in a banana shortage and banana prices of over $15 a kilo.

Shortages caused by Cyclone Debbie are likely to also result in food price rises.

Image: NewsCorp


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