7 Feb 2011

Australia tallies cost of flooding on farms and horticulture

6:13 am on 7 February 2011

Farming and horticulture sectors in Australia are still trying to calculate their losses from the devastating floods and storms.

Queensland Canegrowers says Cyclone Yasi may have destroyed half the sugar cane crop in the key cane growing districts, last week, representing about 15%, or five million tonnes of the country's crop.

Some growers lost their entire crop.

Australia is the world's third-largest raw sugar exporter and US sugar futures surged 4% to three decade highs last week, as a result of the losses.

Banana prices are also set to soar.

The Australian Banana Growers Council says 95% of the crop has been damaged in the Innisfail and Tully growing region.

Livestock losses are still being assessed in the flooding that extended from Queensland into Victoria.

And unseasonal rain has caused an estimated $A1 billion damage to the winter wheat crop.