Monsoonal downpours last week saw many areas of northern and central Queensland experience incredibly wet conditions. Depending on which part of the region farmers are located in, these wet conditions ranged from what has been welcomed as ‘good rain’ through to damaging and dangerous flood conditions.
Farmers in northern Queensland are of course well versed in preparing as best as they can for wet season rain events. However, with the amount of rainfall and flash flooding that has occurred in certain areas, it is expected that many farmers will be adversely impacted. Each water catchment has a different capacity to handle 100s of millimeters of rainfall and the impact of this rainfall, good or bad, will also depend on the stage of production each farmer is at.
In the short term, disruptions to transport and logistics due to road closures and flood damage are preventing the movement of goods on and off farm, across the region and to southern markets, which is currently impacting farmers and affected communities.
The weeks ahead will determine what longer-term effects this significant rain will have on agriculture in the region and the broader food supply chain for consumers. This will become clearer as farmers begin to assess any damage to on farm assets and the impacts on harvest and/or planting are fully realized.
In addition, many farmers are coming off the back of an already disrupted growing season due to 2022 weather events and other supply chain disruptions. As a result, it is likely that this monsoonal event will cause further impacts, however the flow-on effect on supply to supermarket shelves will only become fully apparent as the coming weeks and months unfold.
Mangoes and pineapples are still being picked in some regions and cane has experienced an incredibly late crush this season. After a significant wet event like this, root rot and increased risk of disease can impact vegetable crops.
Affected farmers are encouraged to complete the disaster impact survey as soon as safely possible and communicate your situation with your industry body so that the impact of this monsoonal event can be accurately determined and recorded.
QFF will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to ensure those farmers and rural communities impacted are supported to recover.