CROP RUINED: Charlie Zara has felt the impact of the recent weather and has had the majority of crops on his farm destroyed.
CROP RUINED: Charlie Zara has felt the impact of the recent weather and has had the majority of crops on his farm destroyed. Emma Murray

Heavy rain ruins farmer's fruit and vegetable crop

MACKAY farmers are feeling the effects of recent downpours after months of dry conditions.

Charlie Zara of Pleystowe is retired but farms a variety of fruits and vegetables including corn, chili, zucchini, pumpkins, dragonfruit, melons and limes.

Mr Zara said the more than five inches (125mm) of rain that fell at his property had ruined his crops, particularly the zucchinis.

"If it rains a lot they go rotten," Mr Zara said.

"They're very fussy the zucchinis."

He had spent months watering the plants in the dry weather but now his produce is sodden and will be left out in the field to rot including the limp chilis and split pumpkins.

Mr Zara said there were only so many pumpkins the family could eat on their own.

Meanwhile, cane farmers are revelling in the rain.

Greville North of Walkerston, whose sons have continued running the family cane farm, said the rain was a godsend.

His son, Lewis North, said the rain would kick the crops along through the summer.

"After about seven months we've been irrigating, it all soaked in," he said.

"So you couldn't ask for better rain than that."

As Cyclone Owen makes a resurgence, Mr North said he was not worried about his cane.

"If we got the cyclone in February or March, that's when it starts to wreak havoc with the crop. It seems to flatten it, knock it over. But it doesn't kill it, it soon comes back."

Whether Cyclone Owen will make victims of any other crops remains to be seen.