Farm­ers welcome cold snap

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

FARM­ERS have wel­comed this week’s cold snap be­cause it will slow down fruit and veg­etable pro­duc­tion, help­ing to clear a glut in the mar­ket.

Giru farmer Peter Le Feu­vre said win­ter had been un­usu­ally warm and good grow­ing con­di­tions had caused an over­sup­ply of fruit and veg­eta­bles across Queens­land, with the glut lead­ing to lower prices for farm­ers.

Mr Le Feu­vre ( pic­tured) har­vests about 100ha of zucchinis be­tween May and Septem­ber and in re­cent weeks has not bro­ken even.

“We’re get­ting be­tween $ 10 and $ 20 a box, which is not re­cov­er­ing our grow­ing cost. By the end of the week I’m hop­ing de­mand will pick up and we’ll get at least $ 25 a box,” he said.

Mr Le Feu­vre said that while warm weeks had sped up hor­ti­cul­ture pro­duc­tion in the trop­ics, the big­gest im­pact had come from the south­east.

“There’s been much more pro­duce com­ing out of the Bund­aberg area than usual,” he said. “These guys plant big ar­eas be­cause they have to al­low for colder win­ters and pos­si­ble frosts, so when they get a run of warm weeks pro­duc­tion spikes.”

Bowen Gumlu Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Carl Walker said warmer tem­per­a­tures had caused all crop lines to grow too well and too fast.

“All the south­ern ar­eas have had gor­geous weather and that cre­ates that over­sup­ply,” Mr Walker said.

“The best thing that could hap­pen to us is if all ar­eas of Queens­land had be­low- av­er­age cold weather to slow ev­ery­thing down. That’ll give the mar­ket a chance to clear.”

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