Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oma has wreaked havoc on at least two separate banana plantations in the Tweed Valley on the New South Wales north coast.
Cudgen banana grower Sarvan Singh said the 80km/h winds claimed 95 per cent of his Cavendish bunches and snapped 90 per cent of his Cavendish plants, with some 25,000 cartons’ worth wiped out all told.
Given the current market price of $40 a carton, Mr Singh, who was set to begin cutting next month, is looking at a potential million-dollar loss.
This is the second time his crop has been ravaged by heavy wind – two years ago he lost half his crop to ex-Cyclone Debbie.
“Debbie [was] probably not as bad as this one. We lost probably 10,000 plants from that one. This one we’ve lost about 15,000 plants,” Mr Singh said.
“The wind was just too much.
“It blew hard and stopped and blew hard and that’s what twisted the plants and broke them.
“We had a good year last year and then this happened,” he said.
“Probably a quarter will be all right, the rest is damaged fruit.