Floodplain stays true to type

Debbie's devastation hits home


MUNGBEANS: Alecia and Ashton McQuade with children Sophie, Holly, and Clay. The family's entire mungbean crop was wiped out during the flooding.

MUNGBEANS: Alecia and Ashton McQuade with children Sophie, Holly, and Clay. The family's entire mungbean crop was wiped out during the flooding.

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It was a complete wipeout when Debbie's flooding came through Duaringa - with one couple losing more than 3000 hectares of crops.

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THE floodwater came, and it stayed at Duaringa – wiping out more than 3000 hectares of crops at Foleyvale and Dawsonvale.

Ashton and Alecia McQuade made their way in the grains industry after starting with not much more than a car to their name.

Now the McQuades, alongside children Sophie, six, Holly, four, and Clay, three, own Yallambee, Thangool, and manage Dawsonvale and Foleyvale, both Duaringa, for Woorabinda Pastoral Company. 

The three properties cover 6000 hectares between them but Mr McQuade said it was the country he manages, Foleyvale and Dawsonvale, that bore the brunt of the flooding. 

STILL STANDING: Alecia and Ashton McQuade with children Sophie, Holly, and Clay. The corn, while still standing, is rotten in the cob after devastating flooding.

STILL STANDING: Alecia and Ashton McQuade with children Sophie, Holly, and Clay. The corn, while still standing, is rotten in the cob after devastating flooding.

He had 1620ha of mungbeans, 1010ha of sorghum and 200ha of corn in the ground. Nothing survived. 

“The corn is still standing, but it’s all rotten in the cob. Because it was standing, we were hoping it would be okay,” Mr McQuade said. 

You can’t put a dollar loss on it, but everyone here is in the same boat. - Ashton McQuade

He said flood country had obvious risks, and in his six years at the two Duaringa properties, they have flooded three times. 

“It’s good country when it’s good country, you take the bad with the good and the good with the bad,” he said.

“You can’t budget for a flood.”

The lower ground had three meters of floodwater over it, and the deepest area of the fields had water sitting for six days. 

Mr McQuade said the whole region was feeling the same pain.

“It’s definitely a sting for WBC (Woorabinda Pastoral Company) as well as us - you can’t put a dollar loss on it, but everyone here is in the same boat,” he said. 

Once the remaining water dries up and the ground is ready, Mr McQuade said he will be planting 2500ha of chickpea and 2100ha of wheat between the two properties.

Last week, when unable to return to Duaringa because of the water, the McQuades planted wheat and chickpea at their Thangool block. 

This year they are trialling new chickpea variety PBA Seamer, with 800ha to be planted between Duaringa and Thangool. 

The remaining of their chickpea to be planted will be Kyabra.

Early-planted wheat will be Gregory, while the later wheat will be Kennedy.  

Mr McQuade will speak at the AgForce Next Gen function on Friday night in Biloela. 

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