A "little-known pocket" of Queensland that contributes significantly to Australia's agricultural output is feeling the impact of floods brought by Ex-Cyclone Debbie, leading industry bodies Ausveg and Growcom have reported.
In a release, Growcom CEO Pat Hannan said the organization recently visited flood-ravaged farms in Logan south of Brisbane which at the time of the weather event were nearing harvest.
The result has been a "devastating setback" for businesses in the Logan district, a major supplier of cucumbers, eggplants, Asian vegetables and herbs to the Rocklea Markets, Woolworths, Coles and other smaller markets.
Overall, the area's agriculture is estimated to generate more than AUD$116 million to the economy.
"The floodwaters may be starting to recede but the battle is far from over for growers in the Logan district, as it will take some time for many of these producers to recover from the damage caused by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent floods," said Ausveg CEO James Whiteside.
"The growing operations located in the Logan River and Albert River catchments sustained significant flood damage, with reports that the Logan River peaked at an astonishing 20.7 metres.
"This has been the worst flood for the area in recent years and the majority of crops and infrastructure, including shade cloths and semi-hydroponic setups, have suffered severe damage."
He said growers would need to wait for the mud to dry out before they can prepare their soil and infrastructure for re-planting.
"In the meantime, it is imperative that the state and federal governments ensure that our growers and communities affected by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent floods receive the highest level of assistance possible to help them clean up, rebuild and recover," he said.
Hannan emphasized the importance of affected growers sending the group any evidence or data, including photographs or videos, of damages so the Queensland horticulture industry can "recover from this disaster as soon as possible and continue its vital role in feeding the nation".
"Many growers have already provided information on estimated damage to their businesses, which will go a long way in helping Growcom and AUSVEG advocate for the highest level of disaster relief to be directed to regions in Queensland affected by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding," Hannan said.