Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm and Brackenridge Berries impacted by weather

Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm at Comboyne was impacted by a severe hailstorm which wiped out their crop on September. Photo: supplied.
Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm at Comboyne was impacted by a severe hailstorm which wiped out their crop on September. Photo: supplied.

Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm at Comboyne was impacted by a severe hailstorm in September which wiped out their crop.

Damage done: Nets impacted by hail at Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm. Photo: supplied.

Damage done: Nets impacted by hail at Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm. Photo: supplied.

Owner Penny Tideman said while it's probably a stretch to put the event down to climate change, there's no doubt that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent all over the world.

The top 10cm of the blueberry crop was destroyed. However the Penny and her husband Ernst are attempting to save the rest of the crop so that some fruit can be harvested in December.

She said it will take at least a year for the blueberries to completely recover and at least two to three years for the avocados.

Penny said she believes the government has to do more to encourage people who work on the land, especially young farmers.

She said unfortunately the hail storm had a hard impact on young farmers in the region and they are really struggling.

Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm. Photo: supplied.

Ticoba Blueberries and Avocado Farm. Photo: supplied.

Producers with permanent plantings can now access the On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate.

Federal Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the rebate will help save valuable trees and vines.

Horticulture is a valuable industry for our region and this will help protect it during the drought," Dr Gillespie said.

"Trees and vines can take years to produce fruit. Growers shouldn't have to start over once the drought breaks.

The scheme can be accessed through the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Shocking: Late last year a tornado ripped through close to Brackenridge Berries Farm. It picked up a tree and it landed upright in the middle of the road. Photo: Supplied.

Shocking: Late last year a tornado ripped through close to Brackenridge Berries Farm. It picked up a tree and it landed upright in the middle of the road. Photo: Supplied.

Brackenridge Berries owner and manager Jenny Kompara-Tosio says there is a danger of there being no blueberries to harvest if the birds feed on them first.

Traditionally the harvest season for the fruit begins in December.

However Jenny said due to the hot and dry conditions in 2019, the forest surrounding the farm is dying and as a result there is a lack of food for the animals to eat.

Jenny said it's unusual for birds to eat fruit as it's not their first choice, however they will if they are desperate and there is no food source elsewhere.

Jenny is concerned about the long term impact of enduring more extreme weather events.

Hannam Vale is known for being an extremely wet area, with lush and perpetually green grass.

The blueberries on the farm are growing but Jenny said they might fall prey to the hot, dry conditions or be eaten by the animals.

Late last year the farm was hit by a tornado, which ripped through everything and power was cut for three days.

Jenny has never had to water the farm with irrigation as she's always relied on rain.

If the weather is too hot, the blueberries quickly get soft and spongy, instead of firm for picking.

Jenny is urging politicians to take climate change seriously.

Comments