Australian exports are plunging and this could spell good news for New Zealand beef farmers, according to Rabobank analyst Blake Holgate.
Debbie caused massive flooding in central and southeast Queensland and northern NSW in late March.
About 45 dairy farmers took severe damage in northern NSW, centred on Lismore and Muwillumbah, and about 50 in Queensland.
In some cases, dairy farms were inundated with flood water that killed animals, disrupted herd health, cut milk production and wrecked farm infrastructure.
Recent surveys show $300,000 in lost pumps, tractors and irrigation equipment; 400ha of pasture lost; 121km of fencing destroyed; 10km of internal laneways damaged; 400 round bales of hay lost; and 11 animals killed.
Floodwaters cut off farms and mains power was down for at least a fortnight after the storm.
A QFF spokesman says the cost to the state’s farms will be at least A$6m. About 60% of farms were affected in the flood-hit regions. Also, five farms in Logan City, two on the Gold Coast, and others in the Condamine and Mulgowie region were affected.
Queensland dairy farmers can apply for state and federal grants of up to A$25,000 to meet clean-up and recovery costs.