FEELING GOOD: Despite the damage to his corn and peanut crop, Allan Sommerfeld is feeling good about the much needed rain.
FEELING GOOD: Despite the damage to his corn and peanut crop, Allan Sommerfeld is feeling good about the much needed rain. Michael Nolan

Farmers are feeling good after freak storm

FARMERS and business owners in Coolabunia were hammered by a localised hail storm on Wednesday night.

But while the storm shredded crops, felled trees and broke the odd window, the outlook is surprisingly positive.

Allen Sommerfeld lost the tassels of about 96 acres of corn.

It was too wet to comprehend the full extent of the damage over the weekend but he said it's likely the crop will bounce back.

"This is the first time we've had a corn crop affected by hail,” Mr Sommerfeld said.

"Corn was very soft with lots of the leafy foliage that copped a hammering from the hail.”

The following rain over the weekend has flipped what had initially been a pretty poor yield outlook.

"I'm hopeful,” Mr Sommerfeld said.

Along with some battered corn he lost limbs from a few trees and an ancient windmill.

"It didn't work any more, it was more of a land mark,” he said.

His peanuts will also bounce back, helped along by the weekend's storms.

"The positive thing is it's still raining and that follow up rain was the most beneficial for us,” he said.

Mr Sommerfeld's neighbour, Rod Grant caught the eastern edge of the hail.

It broke his kitchen window, tore up his watermelon paddock and pushed branches off a number of trees.

"A lot of limbs came down,” Mr Grant said.

"The road was closed for about an hour and a half.

"It was like a mini tornado or something, the wind came from the west and we had a fair bit of hail.

"It channelled through a light little strip and ripped the iron off the corner of the big shed.

"Quite a few banana bushes snapped in half.”

Mr Grant's wife's Peugeot 308 was struck by a fallen tree branch.

It dinted the roof and cracked the windscreen.

While his corn crop survived the same can't be said for his watermelons.

"I had about an acre. I don't think they'll survive,” he said.

"The vines are shredded.”

The fruit was a few days off being picked and though he only sells them on the side of the road the pocket-money would have been nonetheless welcome.

The Pottique Lavender Farm also copped a battering.

There was no damage to the building but the owner Anne McBride said a lot of trees lost limbs.

"We have 10cm of shredded leaves all over our yard,” she said.

A number of the new olive trees were uprooted.

"We haven't had them all that long but I think because they're mop-like on the top the wind catches them,” Mrs McBride said.

A fallen tree temporarily cut the road into Kingaroy and pulled down a power line.

"We were without power for about 18 hours and we had to get generators on,” Mrs McBride said.

The dark gave Mrs McBride and her team time without the distraction of technology.

"We were like pioneers,” she said.

South Burnett

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