New South Wales’s peak farming body says the damage bill for wheat losses alone in the state’s flood-hit north-west will surpass $150 million.
- Fourth-worst flood in Moree’s recorded history wipes out wheat
- NSW Farmers’ group estimates 120,000 hectares of wheat lost around Moree, totalling about $150 million
- The lobby group is calling for urgent financial assistance
Parts of Moree, Gunnedah, Dubbo and Moama have been evacuated as more than 140 flood warnings remain across the state.
Agronomists say the grain-growing hub of the north-west is expected to have “conservatively” lost more than 120,000 hectares of wheat that was nearly ready to harvest.
The region also boasts large barley and canola outputs and is in the summer planting window for crops such as cotton and sorghum.
The NSW Farmers Association is calling on the federal government to bolster flood support payments in Labor’s first budget in this term of government.
The lobby group’s Grains Committee chair, Justin Everitt said the dollar value of the wheat damage is on top of approximately $42 million farmers spent to grow the crop, in a year where input costs have been extraordinarily high.
He said crops are “now drowning beneath floodwater” and may be a “complete write-off” if paddocks don’t dry out soon.
“You spend all this money preparing your paddocks, sowing your crops, fertilising and spraying them, only to see them wiped out a couple weeks before harvest. It’s heartbreaking,” Mr Everitt said.
“Farmers know they’re taking a bit of a gamble when they’re planting a crop, but this ongoing wet weather with flood after flood after flood is just unbelievable.”
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