The State and Federal governments are under pressure from farming groups to continue drought funding while farmers recover from the floods.
Recent flooding has devastated farmers also who, after 10 years of drought, have now seen crops lost to rain.
The New South Wales Farmers Association’s chairman Charlie Armstrong says farmers are devastated and struggling financially.
“We’ve got this enormous mental stress that is now following what was a buoyant boom expectations of a bumper crop, followed now by some pretty dire circumstances as to how to even get the next crop in the ground,” he said.
In New South Wales alone an estimated half a million dollars has been wiped off the value of the winter crop.
In central Queensland more than 200 millimetres of rain in the past few days has flooded several inland areas cutting roads and inundating homes.
Farmers have moved their possessions from their homes to higher ground but not much can be done to save their crops.
Bindi Pressler farms grapes, citrus and cotton near Emerald, inland from Rockhampton.
She has sandbags around her home as floodwaters in the Nagoa River edge higher, but her main concern is for the crops she is not able to access.
“We’ve been harvesting table grapes since about the 6th of November and we’ve only had three days where we have seen the sun shine. And those days it’s been limited sunshine anyway and we’ve probably had a storm in the afternoon. Yeah it’s been a very difficult season,” she said.
“There is so much water laying around and of course you’ve got tractors who have to drive through the roads, etc, to pick up the boxes and we’ve already had many days this year where we’ve actually had to harvest in the rain.”
Alex Livingstone from the horticulture lobby group Growcom says it is a similar situation across the region.
“We heard from one grape producer this morning who said he had fish swimming around in his vines, so that’s not a good sign,” he said.
“But certainly in a lot of areas, which may not be inundated with water, the paddocks may be inaccessible. What product is out there, like melons, pumpkins and things like that, won’t be able to be harvested and transported out for a period of time.”
Mr Livingstone does not know what losses have occurred.
“One person that we spoke to that said ‘it could be up to $100 million’ but that could be across a whole bunch of different commodities: broadacre, livestock and infrastructure. We just don’t know at this stage,” he said.
And Mr Livingstone says the recent inundation of rain will only delay grape harvests further.
“In normal years the crop would be off by about now, but because it’s been relatively cool and damp then the crop hasn’t been harvested as yet. So it’s running a bit behind time and now the cruelty of the weather has come along and delayed the crop even more,” he said.
Bindi Pressler is waiting for the skies to clear.
“We just need some fine weather now to dry out the soil so growers in the area can actually get back in to be able to harvest,” she said.