Queensland and northern New South Wales

Avocado trees get a beating due to hail storms

On Tuesday and Wednesday, severe thunderstorms brought large hail, damaging winds and heavy rainfall to many parts of Queensland and northern NSW. A number of districts reported giant hail stones. Stone fruit and avocado growers Graham, Shane and Lindsay Francis, Easy 8 Orchard, Kumbia, saw 25 millimetres of rain coming down on Tuesday and 35mm on Wednesday. There was also a hail storm over the two days.

Teresa Francis said they have avocado orchards over three farms in the district, and the farm she and husband Lindsay live on, has lost 50 per cent of next year's potential crop, along with damage on the other two farms.

"We have not had a full avocado crop since 2017 due to hail storms," Mrs Francistold queenslandcountrylife.com.au. "It really is very disappointing - and although you never get used it - but you really have to roll with the punches to keep going. We had nearly finished picking the last of our nectarines so have lost those as well, but luckily our plums are under hail netting and have been saved."

Scott and Rebecca Dunlop, Jingeri, Proston received 35mm in three storms on Wednesday including a hail storm. "This has given us a total of 75mm for the week and a little bit of runoff into our dams," Mr Dunlop said. "We are still looking for surface runoff as our dams are only half full. It has certainly been an early start to the summer storms compared to last year, when we had to wait until the end of January this year for the first rain."

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