Farmers count cost of Central West floods

Early indications estimate crop losses to be well in excess of $680 million.

Total agricultural damage estimates are in excess of $720 million.

This estimate is based on the best information currently available – losses will vary based on length and breadth of water inundation, yield loss and the ability to harvest.

Mounting cost:  More than 145,314 hectares of pasture has been lost in recent floods across Central West NSW.

Mounting cost: More than 145,314 hectares of pasture has been lost in recent floods across Central West NSW.

To date 145,314 ha pasture losses have been reported with many affected landholders yet to report damage due to access and other issues.

There has been significant damage to crops and pastures in areas affected by recent flooding with the worst affected areas including Forbes, Corinella, Condobolin and Nyngan.

Badly affected crops (those submerged or inundated for long periods) will be a complete loss in many cases.

Dr. Belinda Hackney, Central West Local Lands Services Officer – Mixed Farming, Forbes, said that “delays to summer crop planting may be expected in many areas as paddocks may remain non-trafficable for a considerable time.”

“Weed issues may also be worse in summer and subsequent winter crops due to movement of weed seed with flood waters,” Dr. Hackney said.

“As opposed to most years where we are normally looking for rain at this time of year, farmers are now hoping for dry conditions in coming weeks.

“Substantial rain could still further exacerbate problems with damage extending further to include crops that are currently marginal but may recover in the absence of further rain.”

Local Land Services will be continually assessing agricultural flood damage as a result of significant rainfall recorded across the Central West region over recent weeks.

Central West Local Land Services customer service staff will remain available to receive individual damage reports.

Farmers are encouraged to call 1300 795 299, email emergency.centralwest@lls.nsw.gov.au or contact their nearest Local Land Services office to report agricultural losses. 

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