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AU: Queensland growers lose most of watermelon crop

Quality downgrades have forced Queensland's watermelon growers to throw out between 50 and 80% of their crops.

Darryl O'Leary, a grower from Western Downs, said that a large percentage of the melons are hollow or cracked and that the situation is compounded as it comes at a time of low prices. He says some growers will not even break even this year.

O'Leary suggests that some growers will opt out of the industry as a result of this troublesome year.

"We've lost one grower," he said.

"I know one of our neighbours says they're never growing again, they're finished and I think there are a few other fellas will be looking at their balance sheet at the end of it too.

"It's nobody's fault, you know you blame yourself for doing this and that but when you sit down and analyse it, it's out of your hands."

Darryl O'Leary says they're getting around 60 cents per kilogram for watermelon, which is 10 cents below the average price.

Source: www.abc.net.au

Publication date: 3/1/2012


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