Article by: Hari Yellina
In north-west Queensland, it is normal to see helicopters mustering cattle, but they are now being utilised to guard against frost damage. According to Marciano Table Grapes, the helicopters in the Flinders Shire served as an expensive fan to blow warmer air into the crop. After almost two years of building the green, red, and black table grape vineyard, farm manager Maritz du Plessis claimed that producers could no longer risk their vines. He declared, “We’ll essentially lose our season if we receive frost today. “Frost now would be a serious setback. We will miss our market window and the opportunity for secondary bunches, but we can still have vegetative growth after that.
Other farming regions in Australia utilise frost fans, but Mr. du Plessis claimed that the helicopters were the greatest choice for the property. Helicopter access and those with a night-time pilot’s licence are more important, he claimed. We don’t know when a temperature inversion will occur, so that was the largest issue. Although the weather was warming up, Mr. du Plessis said he would keep the helicopters on alert for the next few days. Not everyone is affected by the cold; Biloela farmer Richard Fairly claims that his broadacre herb growing operation is in the finest condition it has been in for five years. This season, they’re developing incredibly well, and I couldn’t be happier. So, the cold weather won’t bother us,” he said.
Farmer Brendan Swaffer of Clermont claimed that his cotton crop was only marginally affected by the harsh cold. Because his chickpeas hadn’t blossomed yet, they were also spared. “Anything that has blossomed just aborts the flower as soon as you get a frost on it,” he claimed. While losing a bloom isn’t too horrible, when they stop producing pods and become iced, things have to restart. Mr. Swaffer predicted that his chickpeas will withstand a couple more frosts this season without the pulse crop suffering.