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Old 15-02-2011, 02:54 PM
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Default Aussie National Farmers Federation President reckons to early to call

Australian National Farmers Federation (NFF) President Jock Laurie says the government response to the flood crisis has been satisfactory but he has resisted putting an estimated dollar figure on the agricultural damage bill.

Mr Laurie said it would take some time to determine exactly how much damage the floods caused to the agricultural sector in QLD.

But he said it was not all doom and gloom, with every cloud bearing a silver lining.

Some growers have suffered severe damage and may not recover on the back of a decade long drought but others have suffered short term losses while making longer term gains due to the welcome injection of critical moisture.

"We know the dairy industry has had problems with flooding, some people are milking cows but the trucks canít get to the dairies to collect the milk so it has to be tipped out.

"There will be a major loss of production, especially in the fruit and vegetable sectors, all the agricultural industries have taken a hit, but some have said it has also set them up and while thereís some short term pain there are long term gains.

"Some individuals in those sectors will also say this is the last straw after ten years of drought and to be completely wiped out like this is heart breaking and totally demoralising.

"While there has been a significant downgrade in the crop, there has not been massive losses like was first thought and some it looks like it will at least make feed grade markets."

Mr Laurie said the State and Federal governments had been "quite overwhelmed" by the size and extent of the problems caused by the floods but their responses had certainly made an impact.

"You are talking about an area that was initially twice the size of Victoria and now the potentially an area the size of NSW thatís been affected by this," he said.
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