THE true amount of crop losses due to recent flooding events may not be known for months, according to the state government.
Queensland's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is still unable to get a complete picture of the damage caused by flooding events across the state throughout autumn as many places are still too wet to access.
However, early indications have shown the horticulture industry in the Lockyer Valley has been among the hardest hit, while many summer and early-sown winter crops across the state's south west have also felt the brunt of the big wet.
"It is estimated that the agricultural impacts could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars," a DAF spokesperson told the Queensland Country Life.
"The horticulture sector has been seriously impacted in the Lockyer Valley, with vegetable and leaf crops such as broccoli, broccolini, cabbage, lettuce, salad leaves and tomatoes the most impacted. Impacts include loss of crops, infrastructure and topsoil loss due to erosion.
"Some downgrading of cotton, grains, and sorghum crops in the south west of the state have been reported.
"Due to the size of the area involved, the need to wait for flood water to fully recede and conditions to dry out in order to get about their properties to survey impacts, it is difficult to estimate the full impacts and area at this stage, particularly those towards the southwest of Queensland.
"It is difficult to quantify the economic impacts at this stage with many producers unable to get out into their paddocks due to very boggy conditions."
Western Downs grower and AgForce grains president Brendan Taylor said time was running out for those who held off on planting during autumn, or who are having to replant washed away crops.
"Where you are really dictates your situation, like for us, we have some barley that was planted in mid-April that has struggled through those wet periods and has started to recover with a little bit of sunshine on it now, but in some cases there has been crops washed out entirely," Mr Taylor said.
"Time is rapidly running out depending on where you are.
"The further west you are that planting window is quickly closing while on the Downs there is still a few weeks of optimal planting time left, while the Eastern and Southern Downs traditionally plant a little closer to July to try and avoid the frost.
"However, given it is still too wet to get into a lot of paddocks, growers will be a bit concerned about possibly missing the planting window, especially if we get any more rain."
In a bid to better understand and calculate the damage bill, DAF is urging producers to report any losses via its natural disaster impact survey.
Data collected via the survey goes towards helping both the state and federal governments allocate relief funding to areas in the most need, while subsidies and essential working capital loans are still available.
Subsidies and loans are currently available to affected primary producers in the Bundaberg, Gympie, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, North Burnett, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Western Downs shires.
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