A record hailstorm which descended upon the Lockyer Valley late Friday, 10 days ago, left a trail of destruction that protected crop growers Brett and Heidi Steffan of Crowley Vale are only beginning to comprehend.
In the line of fire were their egg plant and choko crop which were being grown in their protective cropping hydroponic greenhouses.
A stoic Mrs Steffen said they hoped they would be able to rebuild their damaged infrastructure in time for planting next February.
In all, she conservatively estimates they have suffered $450,000 in damage and crop loss.
"We were aware we had a 10 per cent chance of a storm that Friday, and it looked to have passed but then double backed on us," she said.
The couple were not home at the time but in Toowoomba at optical appointments, and heard the news from phone calls from their neighbours.
"I am really grateful we were not home as Brett would have gone out in it to save what he could," she said.
The loss of the last off their egg plant picking which would have taken them through to December/January has a market value of about $200,000.
Growing chokos was a new project for them, as they had been asked to grow them by a vegetable agent who told them 'there was a niche market'.
"We would have started picking them this week, and that pick would have taken us through to May," she said.
"It was to be a new cash crop for us which I don't know where it have would taken us, but is now gone."
She said to replace the damaged infrastructure would be another $200,000.
"We were not insured as the insurance broker would only insure us for fire and that was never going to happen," she said.
The couple also grow about 80 hectares of lucerne, which was damaged.
"The lucerne will grow again in about seven weeks, but that is one less cut we can't bank on."
The couple had only changed direction from growing potatoes to converting to protective cropping hydroponic greenhouses due to a run of floods through the Lockyer Valley.
"It seriously has been hard going from COVID to floods and with price fluctuations the profit margins are in in the game anymore," she said.
Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud joined the Federal Member for Wright, Scott Buchholz, on Friday to visited Steffens and other farmers last Friday.
"These federal MP's took their visit very seriously, but they can't do anything until the state government steps in and so far that has not happened," she said.
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