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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Flood effects still being assessed

It may be months before the full impact of the northern Victorian floods are fully calculated.

April 3, 2012 3:05am

The full effect of the recent floods will not become clear for another couple of months, Murray Dairy flood recovery taskforce chair Dudley Bryant says.

‘‘We are still assessing the costs of damaged fences as well as the costs to replace the roads and tracks on farms that were washed away,’’ Mr Bryant said.

‘‘But it will take at least two months to understand the full extent and cost of the flood damage.’’

About 140 farmers have been severely affected by the heavy rain and resulting floods that washed through the region between February 27 and early March.

Mr Bryant said the taskforce was confident the region’s farmers were receiving the support and advice they needed.

‘‘I certainly hope they are — we are very conscious of not missing anyone — and we’re planning some informal barbecues so we can hear about any other issues and concerns that may come up,’’ he said.

He said farmers appeared to be accessing the $25000 flood clean-up and recovery grants the federal and state governments had made available to primary producers in Moira Shire and Greater City of Shepparton.

‘‘There are also low-interest loans available, but farmers don’t really want to take on any more debt — particularly the young ones — so subsidised interest rates on existing loans would be welcomed,’’ Mr Bryant said.

Meanwhile, the region’s farmers are re-sowing pasture, although wet ground and rampant weed growth are causing a few headaches.

‘‘At the Nathalia end (of the flooded region) they’re still getting water off, in the middle they are just starting to re-sow and at the other end re-sowing is well and truly under way,’’ Mr Bryant said.

‘‘In some ways the timing (of the floods) was not too bad for feed, although the longer we have to wait to get on the paddocks the worse the situation gets.’’

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