But now, after one of the most devastating upheavals in the history of the state, a billion dollar industry could be in ruins.
The authorities estimate that nearly 500,000 cattle worth about $ 213 million ($ 300 million) have been killed in northern Queensland since the rain began to fall late last month, CNN's Seven News reported ,
The rains are over, but the cattle carcasses are left behind and bake in the record breaking summer heat. If they are not buried or burned, they are hazardous to your health. The video, taken from above in one place, shows dozens of dead cattle huddled in the midst of the devastation.
"People have experienced drought, they have come from years and years of drought, and they have now fallen into a natural disaster that no one has ever seen before," said Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk.
But ranchers and industry lobbyists say the worst is yet to come.
Australia's beef industry is one of the country's biggest economic drivers, with $ 5.3 billion in exports in 201
7. According to the Meat & Livestock Australia trading group, from July 2017 to June 2018 beef worth around USD 6.1 billion (US $ 8.6 billion) was consumed domestically.
Agforce Queensland's president, rural production president Michael Guerin described the floods as a "humanitarian crisis" and "a disaster of unprecedented proportions".
"Given the speed and intensity of the tragedy that unfolds, it is hard to believe that it is only a week since farmers' enthusiasm over the first decent rains in five years, given the devastating and unprecedented flood, which followed quickly became horror. " said.
"Although we will not know the full extent of livestock losses and damage to the infrastructure until the water has completely receded, it is certain that the industry will need decades to recover."
Many of the surviving cattle can & # 39; because roads are not passable. The authorities have resorted to air drops to provide feed, but the affected areas are so large that they are unable to reach all the animals in need.
Georgie Somerset, president of Agforce Queensland, said on Tuesday: "We literally bring one barrel of hay at a time to feed the stock we can find."
Many ranchers are preparing for big losses. The Queensland government is providing emergency relief to those affected. Farmers can receive up to $ 53,000 in grants but may need more to rebuild herds. Cattle farmer Jodi Keough told Seven News that they would lose half of their herd to a primary industry in Australia. "
Meanwhile, one person died of a soil-borne bacterial disease after the floodwaters had withdrawn from Townsville's regional center, Dr. Julie Mudd of the local health unit told reporters hospitalized.