Actualidad nacional e internacionalEne. 21, 2020
Una tormenta de granizo destruyó cultivos de nueces, almendras y otros productos en el sureste de Australia
A hailstorm caused millions of dollars worth of damage to lychees, avocados, macadamias, walnuts, almonds, custard apples and pumpkins.
Bird netting over the Martin family’s lychee orchard was today still bowed under the pressure of tonnes of melting hail.
“At 2:30 yesterday afternoon it hit and probably went for a good 20 minutes, just flat out,” Ryan Martin said.
“There’s a fair bit of fruit left on the trees, the majority’s on the ground, but what is on the trees is damaged.”
A man wearing a black, full-brimmed hat kneels beside a huge pile of hail that’s fallen in an orchard.
Ryan Martin beside the nets filled with hail at his parent’s Glass House Mountains property on November 18, 2019. (ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)
Third time unlucky
It was the third time in 15 months that Yanalla Farms’ lychee, dragon fruit and custard apple farm has fallen victim to a violent hail storm in the Glass House Mountains.
“This was our biggest year,” Mr Martin said.
“We were hoping to get around 20-25 tonnes worth of lychees, and obviously not now — I reckon we’ll be lucky to be pushing five tonnes.”
Dragon fruit plants were also smashed, along with the last of the Martins’ patented Pinks Blush custard apple crop.
It could be a month before they know how much of the fruit still growing on the trees can be salvaged, but in the meantime the Martins will be tallying up the damage bill.
You can see two bits of netting sagging under the weight of tonnes of ice in the orchard.
Hail caught in the bird netting at Yanalla Farms in the Glass House Mountains on November 17, 2019. (Supplied: Yanalla Farms)
“It could be upwards of $100,000 and then you’ve got to add the infrastructure to that,” Ryan’s father, Bob Martin, said.
“I’m not too sure what that’s going to cost to get repaired, so it could be $200,000.
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“It’s not something that you can insure, and if an insurance company was to accept it, premiums would probably be ridiculous.”
Bob Martin said many drought- and fire-affected farmers were far worse off, and expressed his concern for a Central Queensland lychee farmer who lost all of his crop to a bushfire, and neighbouring Glass House Mountains farmers who had also suffered damage.
“We’re not the only people who have had a loss out of this,” he said.
A ‘phenomenal, crazy’ 15 minutes
Last night the Martins shared a beer with Daniel Jackson, whose macadamia and custard apple farm at the base of Crookneck mountain was hard hit.
A young man in a baseball cap and hi-vis kneels under a tree, his palms full of smashed nuts.
Daniel Jackson described the ferocity of the storm was “phenomenal”. (ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)
Tonnes of young nuts were shredded from his 3,000 macadamia trees, which only fruit once a year.
“It was phenomenal,” Mr Jackson said.
“I was coming across this morning to put a protective copper spray on to protect damaged trees and I can see half my sprinklers spraying wildy with smashed sprinkler heads from the hail.
“You know, it was tennis ball, cricket ball size for ten to fifteen minutes.
“I’ve never seen anything like it — it was just crazy.”
A hole in a sprinkler line on a lush green farm shoots out water from a hole caused by hail damage.
Mr Jackson said the hail smashed up his sprinkler system along with his nut crop. (ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)
He expressed his disappointment at the storm hitting ahead of what was shaping up to be his best crop since he and his wife took over the farm and estimated the damage at more than $150,000, excluding infrastructure.
“Looking at it there’s still a little bit of nut in the trees but I’d say 50-60 per cent is on the ground,” Mr Jackson said.
“It has been dry but we’ve irrigated this year, so we spent a fair bit of money with infrastructure and pumping to try and get his crop, and yeah, now it’s on the ground.”
Mr Jackson, who is also the President of the Australian Custard Apple Growers Association, estimated that the hail caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage to tree crops in the region.
Source: https://www.abc.net.au/ January 20, 2020