DAMAGED: Eastern Colour’s Nathan Baronio has revealed the damage Wednesday afternoon’s hail storm.
DAMAGED: Eastern Colour’s Nathan Baronio has revealed the damage Wednesday afternoon’s hail storm.

Strawberry growers cop wild weather damage

STRAWBERRY growers across the Granite Belt will start the season on the back foot after wild weather lashed the region.

Heavy rain and hail tore through Stanthorpe and surrounding towns over the past two days, damaging crops and orchards.

Eastern Colour marketing coordinator Nathan Baronio said the full extent of the storm’s damage was yet to be uncovered.

“The rain caused a fair bit of damage to the strawberries because they don’t handle the rain,” Mr Baronio said.

“Strawberries have a really thin skin and when they sit in water for an hour, that skin turns to rubbish.”

The Applethorpe farm recorded close to 26mm of rain in the past week.

Despite the damage, Mr Baronio said the wet days were welcomed as drought continues to plague the region.

“I don’t think there would be any farm in the district that wasn’t happy about the rain,” Mr Baronio said.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg, we need a lot more rain.”

Maryland St was hit by a small hail storm on Wednesday afternoon.
Maryland St was hit by a small hail storm on Wednesday afternoon.

According to figures from the Bureau of Meteorology, parts of the region recorded up to 42mm of rain in the isolated storms.

With the majority of the region’s rain falling in spring, Mr Baronio wasn’t too concerned with the early setback.

“The key with yesterday’s storm was that there was no wind behind the hail. That causes a lot of damage, that stuff,” he said.

“Provided the hail isn’t too bad, you can handle a little bit of hail if you’re going to get rain because without it, nothing will grow.”

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