Carnarvon fruit and vegetable growers have been busy repairing damaged orchards and market gardens in the wake of last month’s dust storm. Andy Svilicich said he did not immediately see the effects of the damage to his grapefruit. “We saw it in our citrus trees a few days later when it started aborting fruit due to trees in shock, and there is still fruit dropping off,” he said. “We probably lost 10 per cent which doesn’t sound very much but the trees will be set back six months before they come good again. “You only get one crop per year, the fruit hangs on for eight months and you get what you’re given.” Mr Svilicich said they waited more than a week to start picking so the trees would “thin themselves” of fruit first. “That’s the only crop affected for us, we had rockmelons finished four days prior and mangos are out of season,” he said. Horticulturist Paul Shain said storm damage to tomatoes mean they were worth “a bomb” at the moment. “We have got patches of tomatoes that were untouched because they were behind the mango trees,” he said. “But we were supposed to be picking beans next week, at $18 a kilo that is a world record price but they are all smashed.” Mr Shain said it took four people four days to clean up the dust on his property. As chair of the Carnarvon Growers Association he said the damage to the fruit and vegetable industry outside of bananas would have been “tenfold” as many crops were planted just before the storm. “Everyone’s spent their money setting up, trying to start the season,” he said. “Crops like zucchinis would have copped it and I know the herb growers copped it big time and the corn got absolutely flattened. “A lot of people have been struggling over the last couple of years, they didn’t really need this.” North West Central member Vince Catania said after the tourism downturn this was another “kick in the guts” for Carnarvon.