A southern Queensland watermelon grower says significantly lower fruit quality and a very low price has combined to make a disastrous season for queensland farms.
Ian and Sharon Beard grow 11 hectares of seedless melons near Chinchilla and this year they’ll probably have to throw out 70 per cent of their crop because of quality defects, which means less harvest jobs.
Ian Beard says despite growing the fruit the same way they have for years they’ve had serious melon imperfections.
“I think the combination of the cold and we had a bit of heat in November, lack of pollination has really given us problems with our fruit internally.
“Inside the fruit it either had a crack or it has a star, one being pollination and the other being nutrition.”
Mr Beard says an oversupply in the market means extremely low prices of around 40 cents per kilogram, he says that’s much lower than the usual price range of between 70 cents and a dollar per kilo.
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