Saturday, 3 September 2016

Ruined crops in Australia after widespread rain

Rain wipes out NSW crops in third wettest winter on record

Widespread, heavy rain has devastated crops in central western New South Wales, while other parts of the state have also been inundated.

2 September, 2016

Few farmers would usually complain about rain, but there is such a thing as getting too much and at the wrong time.

Record rainfalls in the past three months in parts of the state have damaged and killed winter crops such as wheat, barley and chickpeas.

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said it had been the third wettest winter on record.

Narromine district landowner Greg Broughton said he had lost between 50 and 80 per cent of his crops.

"I've never ever seen it like this at this time of year," Mr Broughton said.

"It is pretty devastating for this growing season."

Trangie farmer Andy Mackinnon said many of his crops were waterlogged and could not be salvaged.

"What crop we've lost, we've lost now," Mr Mackinnon said.

"It's been underwater for too long.

"Right in the middle of winter, it's a lot of rain and probably the most rain I've ever seen in my life."

About 30 per cent of crops have been damaged or lost across NSW.

DPI seasonal conditions coordinator Ian McGowen said the damage was extensive.

"This is quite unusual," he said.

"Some years you can get losses, particularly in the lower lying areas of paddocks, but this has been quite extensive."

But there is a silver lining, if all the moisture stays in the soil for the next round of crops.

BoM forecasts flooding rain amid low-pressure trough

Meanwhile, residents in parts of NSW have been put on alert with rain and flooding forecast due to a low-pressure system.

Moderate to heavy falls have triggered a flood watch on nine river valleys.

The Bureau of Meteorology said minor to moderate flooding was also likely on the Upper MacIntyre, Namoi, Bogan, Macquarie, Gwydir and Murrumbidgee rivers.

In northern NSW, people living along the Peel and Castlereagh rivers were warned to expect minor flooding.

The rain is forecast to clear from the state's far west later on Friday and then ease in the central west on Saturday morning.

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