Applethorpe fire destroys pasture

Fire destroys pasture at Applethorpe

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Applethorpe cattle producer Ian Rogers is faced with rebuilding fences and yards.

Applethorpe cattle producer Ian Rogers is faced with rebuilding fences and yards.

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Granite Belt cattle producer Ian Rogers is facing the unenviable task of rebuilding burnt fences and cattle yards.

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GRANITE Belt cattle producer Ian Rogers is facing the unenviable task of rebuilding burnt fences and cattle yards after fires ripped through his country at Applethorpe.

Mr Rogers said he suspected the fire was started from embers blown from the main fire some four or five kilometres away when winds were raging at up to 90km/hour.

"But how would you know," Mr Rogers said.

Despite the blackened landscape, the pasture would respond well if rain was received in the near future.

At the moment it feels like one step forward and four steps back. - Ian Rogers, Applethorpe

"It's been such a mild winter," he said. "There's only been three or four frosts when we would expect dozens. Already there are signs of some green shoots around the place."

The devastating fire comes on the back of extended drought conditions, which had already depleted pastures and forced Mr Rogers to buy scarce feed for his cattle.

"We only had love grass, but that's not a bad thing when you don't have anything else," he said. "Now we'll have to buy more feed and sourcing that is a job in itself."

"At the moment it feels like one step forward and four steps back."

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said primary producers impacted by the recent bushfires could apply for assistance without waiting for a formal activation of joint state/commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

"Producers suffering severe damage can apply for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration, which gives access to freight subsidies up to $5000 from DAF, and Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority Disaster Assistance loans of up to $250,000 at a concessional interest rate," Mr Furner said.

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