TIM and Jeff Larsson have seen plenty of storms in their time as farmers but this week's weather event caused by the effects of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald doesn't make dealing with the damage any easier.
The brothers run the family partnership Rockleigh Plantation at Tullera and have around 40ha under production growing bananas, macadamias, custard apples and mangoes.
"Mangoes are our smallest crop with only 250 trees but we did a clean-up of all those that fell from the trees and would have easily collected 120 crates from the first row," Jeff said.
What macadamia farmers need urgently is short- term cash grants to repair roads and fences, erosion damage and to be able to remove trees.
At an estimate of two and half to three crates per mango tree, that's a lot of mango that won't be sold as premium quality.
"Those mangoes with wind and rain damage will be bulked and sent to Sydney but they'll go for a lesser price," Jeff said. "Our next step will be restaking trees we can save and pulling out those that can't be."
The banana plantations on the brothers' farm suffered substantial damage thanks to the strong winds that blew through their crops last Monday. A quick tour of the area showed plenty of trees broken and crushed lying on the ground.
Some custard apple trees had also been uprooted and in the macadamia crop there was plenty of nut on the ground. "The constant wind was the most damaging to the crops," Jeff said.
"It seemed to depend on which way the wind blew.
"It kept going from north/south or east/west and it seems when it went north/south the trees copped it."
Australian Macadamia Society CEO Jolyon Burnett yesterday visited a macadamia farm with federal member for Page Janelle Saffin at Rous.
"What macadamia farmers need urgently is short- term cash grants to repair roads and fences, erosion damage and to be able to remove trees," he said.
"It's urgent that rubbish is moved from the orchard floor in the next five weeks otherwise the mature nuts, the only hope of an income for a lot of farmers, will start falling from the trees and get lost amongst the debris."
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