Canegrowers hit hard from recent weather events

RECENT flooding in the Tweed has taken its toll on farmers.

Many cane farmers have lost their soya bean crops and their cane has been hit hard.

"Some farmers have been hit harder than others," said Nunderi cane farmer Mark North.

"We have been pretty lucky.

"But some farmers have lost it all."

The Norths lost 13% of their crop.

"My heart bleeds for those who lost 100%," he said.

Mr North was in Sudan when the worst of the flooding hit.

His wife Beverley watched flood waters rise, comptely covering her rose garden and most of the cane.

At one stage she was up to her waste in flood water and had no electricity.

"I'm glad I didn't have to watch the waters rise like other farmers," Mr North said.

"It's a terrible feeling when you watch helplessly as your crop gets inundated.

"Standing watching...that's the killer."

Mr North's neighbour, David Bartlett has sold his farm having suffered devastaion of his crop.

The flood waters hit a high in one night and he had to sleep in the top bunk of his child's bunk bed.

A fifth generation cane farmer, he has a pioneer spirit.

But he has finally sold up and now manages the farm.

"Things aren't like they used to be," he said.

"You can't get through on blood, sweat and tears.

"And you can't put your life on hold when the crop fails."

He said the pressure on a family was often "too great."

"Keeping a family together is tough when your crop is hit hard."

Topics:  cane farmers

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.