Australia could take up to 80% loss on melons, cherries due to rains

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Australia could take up to 80% loss on melons, cherries due to rains

Continuing heavy rain in eastern and southern Australia has devastated crops, with some melon and cherry growers reporting losses of up to 80%, the Australian Broadcasting Co. reported on its website.

Wheat growers have taken a big hit as well, one industry expert told The Australian newspaper.

Heavy rains have split cherries in eastern Australia.

Melon and pumpkins fields have been flooded. Growers who can harvest their crops can’t get them to market because of damaged roads, the website reported.

Parts of Queensland received 7 inches of rain in a few days.

The rain, along with lower temperatures, are expected to delay the table grape harvest in the state as well, said Alex Livingstone, of the fruit and vegetable farmers group Growcom, according to the website.

In New South Wales, cherry growers could lose AU $10 million (US $9.9 million) due to heavy rains that hit the area just as the fruit was ready for harvest, according to Scott Coupland, president of the NSW Cherry Growers, the website reported Nov. 30.

That area received about 5 inches of rain over a few days.

With the wheat harvest, one NSW industry expert estimated that half of the AU $2.5 billion (US $2.47 billion) industry in the state could be affected, according to The Australian.

“The true cost of the damage won't be known until people can get back in their paddocks and survey the damage,” Charles Armstrong, president of the NSW Farmers Association, is quoted as saying. “This is devastating for farmers, particularly those who have had to deal with drought the longest.”



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