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Thursday, 29 December 2016 09:40

Storm damage SA

South Australia’s record winter wheat crop has taken a pounding during continuing storms across the state, according to Adelaide Now.


Crops smashed by rain and wind have been downgraded with producers bearing the financial cost of the weather event.
It’s another setback for farmers after hail shredded vineyards, stone fruit and citrus in the Riverland last month and October flooding crippled vegetable growers in the Adelaide Plains.
Primary Producers SA chairman Rob Kerin said the storm was the latest in a series of natural disasters that had ruined an “otherwise fantastic growing season”.
Farmers who had yet to bring in what was proving to be a bumper grain crop could see prices fall between $50-80 a tonne due to a significant downgrade in quality.
“When you’ve got a year like this and you have a fantastic crop sitting out there and have a big rain like this one it’s pretty disheartening,” Mr Kerin said.
Grain Producers SA chief executive Darren Arney predicted the storm had impacted on 5 per cent of the state’s grain crop and would cost growers between $100-200 million.
“Where lots of the rain has fallen either farmers have finished or are half way there but there’s still 3 million tonnes of grain yet to come in,” Mr Arney said.
The storm wasn’t nearly as catastrophic for other industries, which capped off what Bailleu Holst chief economist Daryl Gobbett described as a “real mixed bag” for the state’s farmers.
Mr Kerin said SA farmers were the latest storm event was “just one of those things”.
Up to 48mm had fallen across the Clare Valley over Tuesday night and Wednesday and Clare Valley Wine Grape Growers Association president Troy Van Dulken said apart for some downy mildew, the rain would be welcome.
“Really at the moment I think it it’s pretty good news for us in the long term,” he said. “If we get hot weather coming up it’s perfect conditions for having big crops ... and less money paid out for irrigating crops.
South Australia’s unseasonably cold and wet spring has meant some cherry growers will be harvesting into late January.
Uraidla cherry grower Grant Wotton, who is among a few growers still harvesting the summer fruit, expected the 110mm of rain will have caused splitting to some of the crops.
“We have about 30-40 per cent (left to harvest) but I wouldn’t want to put a figure on the damage,” he said, adding they still had to assess their crop.

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