Monday, May 23, 2022

Heavy rain may damage grain yields/ prices

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Nicholas Rupolo, Narrandera Argus

Massive rainfall over the weekend has caused grain growers concern over missing out on historically high prices this year.

The Central West received the largest amount of rain over the weekend with Collingullie and Wagga Wagga experiencing over 70ml, Junee 29ml and Narrandera and Barellan around 20ml.

Senior Meteorologist, Bureau of Meteorology Agata Imielska said the Riverina received high levels of rain despite it being a statewide rain event.

“We’ve seen some significant falls in the southern part of the state (like the) Riverina region received rainfall levels of between 20 to 50mml,” she said.

The wash has caused concern amongst grain growers as to the quality of their crop as they harvest for a bumper season.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences expects the 2021/22 season will see more than 55 million tonnes harvested.

Independent agronomist and cropping property owner Neil Durning says farmers will take a psychological hit as well as a financial hit from the heavy rain.

“Its a psychological hit, it’s so frustrating when you’ve grown an awesome crop and in some respects gone back to back at the northern hemisphere drought which has elevated prices,” he told the Argus.

“We were looking at fantastic yields and profits and the creams just come off, with that said, as it looks today it still looks downgraded grain will be worth good money, it just isn’t what it was a week ago.

“The heavy rainfall washes waste out of the grain so it affects yield and quality.

“More so the number of days that it’s wet starts to germinate the grain while still standing in the paddock, that will downgrade everything in the feed and puts a lot of pressure onto the feed grain market.

“Canola is probably less affected because it’s an oil based grain, it still does get dramatically affected but its potentially less of a drama if you can still get into the delivery sites.”

Mr Durning is confident that mice plague history won’t repeat this time around in an attempt to take some positives out of the devastating impacts of the rain.

“Mice are a function of food like grain on the ground,” he said.

“After a big harvest there will be mice, rain has potentially lessened the risk but its mainly summer weeds, (farmers) have to harvest but do some weed control.”

The beginning of the week saw a retreat in heavy rain however it wasn’t without concerns for flooding in parts of the Central West.

Lockhart and Temora Shire had many road closures due to flood warnings including the Burley Griffin Way with water over the road near Trigalong Creek earlier this week.

NSW State Emergency Services notified Narrandera and Darlington Point areas of minor flooding.

Recent rainfall caused river level rises along the Murrumbidgee River with minor flooding occurring at Darlington Point.

Minor flooding was expected on the Murrumbidgee River downstream of Wagga Wagga to Narrandera. The Murrumbidgee River at Narrandera reached minor flood levels on Tuesday.

Narrandera Argus 2 December 2021

This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 2 December 2021.

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