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Cyclone Debbie flattens sugarcane crop

Sugarcane growers along a 300 km stretch of the north Queensland coast are today assessing the damage Tropical Cyclone Debbie has left to homes, sheds, equipment and crops.

“Our members and their families have only this morning been able to try to go outside to look at what’s happened during almost 36 hours of stormy and cyclonic conditions,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said. “It has been an anxious and stressful time and we know there will be some damage to houses and sheds.

“We do know that hundreds of hectares of sugarcane has been flattened by Cyclone Debbie’s winds with the Mackay and Proserpine districts the worst affected.

“Some of the cane will have been snapped or pulled up by the roots and some of it is underwater.

“The full extent of the damage to farms and the crop won’t be clear for a number of days.

“It has still been raining heavily this morning in some of the affected areas and flooding is occurring."

Last year the Mackay and Proserpine regions produced 8.5 million tonnes of sugarcane, out of a statewide harvest of 35 million tonnes.

They have taken a beating from Cyclone Debbie and obviously their yields will be affected for the 2017 harvest due to start in less than three months.

Farm equipment and industry infrastructure such as the cane train network and the mills in the hardest hit cane districts will also be inspected over the coming days.

CANEGROWERS is working with the Queensland Farmers Federation and the Queensland and Federal governments to assess the impact and ensure assistance is provided to producers when and where it is necessary.

CANEGROWERS Insurance Managers are ready to assist our growers with farm and personal infrastructure claims and have the support of our insurance providers.

Cyclone Debbie flattens hundreds of hectares of sugarcane.
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