It wasn’t long ago that the Australian province of Queensland suffered record floods. Now some parts have the opposite water problem and are suffering from drought. Three months ago the areas outside of the capital city, Brisbane, were declared drought-stricken and 15 olive growers filed for Drought Relief Assistance.
While olive growers in the northern hemisphere are harvesting, growers in the southern hemisphere are looking for the fragrant, snowy-white blooms that foretell a healthy olive crop. In the drought-affected areas of Queensland the blossoms are burned and brown.
The olive growers west of Brisbane haven’t had many good crops in the last several years, but they still know they have businesses to run. With the help of other Australian olive growers the Queensland growers have several options: buy olives from other groves and press them in their own mills, harvest directly from another grower’s land and again press them in their own mills, or buy bulk olive oil from another grower and bottle it for sale under their own label. But, regardless of these options lots of money in wages, equipment, pest management, etc. are lost daily.
While Queensland growers wait for November rains (good) or el Nino (bad) at least they have some financial relief in sight. I am hoping they get just the right amount of rain.
Here’s a run down on what the Australian Drought and Rural Assistance Program provides:
- Income support
- Farm finance
- Farm management deposits
- Tax measures
- Financial counseling
- Drought loans
- Water infrastructure investment
- Community support
- Pest management
- Interest rate subsidies
May the sun shine through your branches.