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Rain proves a blessing – and a curse

Managing Partner at Nutrien Ag Solutions, Greg Seiler, said the rain had been a bonus for stock owners. PHOTO TWH

Recent rainfall has wrought havoc across farming communities with crop losses and harvest delays.

Bourke and Brewarrina have so far been lucky, with most crops intact despite the heavy rain events in the northern basin.

Further east it’s a different story, with Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, describing the impact of the recent rain as ‘devastating’.

“While it’s been good for the graziers, for the winter harvest of barley, wheat and canola crops there has been a lot of damage,” Mr Coulton said.

“Just driving around, you can see there is still a lot to harvest and with the reports of a storm through Narrabri and Boggabri with hail, that’s been devastating.

“A disaster declaration has been made for the storm damage in most of those areas impacted by heavy rain so those councils can apply for funding for infrastructure grants and business losses.

“The Rural Assistance Authority is managing those claims if anyone needs to find out more,” Mr Coulton said.

The danger is not over yet, with the risk of flooding at Walgett and further downstream.

Mr Coulton said the water was moving slowly so the peaks were still coming down the system from the Border Rivers and the Namoi, Gwydir, Castlereagh and Macquarie Rivers, and eventually into the Barwon and Darling Rivers.

“There will be a lot of water coming down that system so for a number of weeks we need to be watching upstream and listening to the SES and other authorities about what is happening,” he said.

“The forecasts are for more rain, and we are going to have an incredibly wet summer.

“For a lot of farmers that’s a mixed blessing, with some nearly finished the harvest and some not started or watching their crops wash away or be downgraded in quality, so it’s going to be a difficult few weeks ahead,” Mr Coulton said.

Around Bourke, farmers and graziers are keeping their fingers crossed that the rain event won’t move west.

Managing Partner at Nutrien Ag Solutions, Greg Seiler, said the rain had been a bonus for stock owners who until recently had still been relying on some supplements and stored fodder.

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