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Deniliquin downpour too late for crops

More than 50mm of rain fell on the region this week, despite predictions of only 10mm, soaking everything and jeopardising harvest.

TYLA HARRINGTON December 6, 2013 4:51am

Deniliquin received a massive burst of rain between Wednesday and Thursday morning, but for most farmers it will not be of any value to the winter cropping program.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 56.6mm of rain fell in Deniliquin up to lunch time yesterday.

Rain figures from a home in George St were 48mm up to 7.30am yesterday morning, while a River St resident recorded 55mm up to the same time.

Mayrung property owners Gordon and Phyllis Ball recorded 46mm on their property up to 1pm yesterday.

Elders Deniliquin agronomist Adam Dellwo said while the rain was ‘‘alright’’ for the summer crops and livestock, ‘‘for everyone else it’s a bit of a nuisance’’.

‘‘For the croppers it’s generally not good,’’ he said.

‘‘Blokes will be having to spray their paddock for summer weeds and there is more of a chance of flystrike in sheep, which is just another job farmers will have to do.

‘‘It’s really not helpful. The ones who haven’t finished harvesting would want to get the crop off as soon as possible.

‘‘If it stays around there is more chance the crop will get downgraded and they will get less money for it.

‘‘We want some sunny days to dry things up.’’

Mr Dellwo said if the rain had come two or three months earlier ‘‘yields would have doubled’’.

He said it would be ideal if it didn’t rain again until March or April.

Superior Seed Co owner Ian Lea agreed the rain was not welcomed by all.

‘‘Once again heavy rain has come too late to be of any value to our winter cropping program, and for those who haven’t finished harvesting there’s only anxiety about how much more rain is coming and the possibility of weather damaged crops,’’ he said.

‘‘Personally, our own crops and quite a few of our irrigated seed crops have been harvested leaving only a few of the irrigated seed crops yet to be harvested.’’

 

In town, Deni Works staff were kept busy on Wednesday with several roads flooded and some Cressy St businesses with water up to their front entrances.

Deni Works manager Jim Grant said they were ‘‘getting the water out as quick as we can’’ when speaking to the Pastoral Times on Wednesday afternoon.

‘‘We weren’t expecting this much rain, only 5-10mm was predicted,’’ he said.

‘‘Otherwise we would have pulled the stops earlier, but they are all open now.

‘‘Normally we would drain some of the lagoons in advance.’’

Mr Grant said problem areas included Waring Gardens to Westpac Bank, Jameson St and the west Deniliquin drainage system.

‘‘Because the roads are so flat the water has nowhere go,’’ he said.

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