Sunshine Coast strawberries suffer after heavy rain

Sunshine Coast strawberry farmers face a difficult season as continuing heavy rain means much of their early crop has had to be destroyed.

The roll-on effect means strawberry lovers may see a shortage at supermarkets and prices as high as $7 a punnet according to www.hot91.com.au

Adrian Schultz from LuvaBerry at Elimbah says too much water is killing 30 percent of some plant varieties - with the ground so saturated - you only need 10mm of rain and you can no longer get a tractor on to the field.

Mr Schultz says Sunshine Coast farmers have only just begun planting their strawberries within the past month.

"It's having a devastating impact, early season fruit is normally coming on at this stage. We've just done a walkthrough and we've got 100 per cent throw out so it's devastating at this early stage of the season."

The wet weather, Mr Schultz says, comes on top of rising diesel and packaging costs putting financial pressure on growers.

Mr Schultz says this is generally the time when most farmers recoup the money, usually hundreds of thousands in some cases millions of dollars, that they've invested in their farms to get the crops up and running.

“We may see long-term effects next year,” he says.

It's been the wettest May on record on the Sunshine Coast - but there's some dry weather on the way.

In-house meteorologist Hannah McEwan says around 600mm has already fallen at the airport this month - four times the average.

"That's on the back of the wettest March since at least 1995 - and the wettest two weeks- in more than 90 years- between the 25th and 27th of February," she says

 


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