Clock ticking for Queensland dairy cows
The clock is ticking for dairy farmers after severe storms swept across southern Queensland and knocked out power just before milking time.
A tornado and wild weather hit the South Burnett and Gympie regions on Thursday afternoon, dumping hail, tearing off rooves and destroying crops.
Four people have been hospitalised in the wake of the storms, including a boy who is fighting for his life after he was hit by falling tree on Friday.
Queensland Dairy Farmers spokeswoman Sarah Ferguson says about 10 per cent of the state's dairy herd is also affected after power was cut to about 30 farms.
Cows need to be milked every day to avoid contracting mastitis, and more than 3000 cows are at risk, she said.
"Unless they get power within 24 hours, they're going to have real troubles with their cows ... when power becomes life or death for your farm, it's a real problem," Ms Ferguson said.
Mastitis won't kill the cows but it's very painful and renders the milk undrinkable.
Ms Ferguson said Thursday's storm are a blow to the state's dairy industry, which is still reeling from the drought and problems with the supermarket-led milk levy.
Ergon and Energex have crews in the region reconnecting customers but more than 6800 remain without power.
A spokesman said the situation was difficult because many lines are live and buried beneath fallen trees and debris.
© AAP 2018