Downpour makes it too wet to work

December 12, 2017

Too much rain . . . Miepoll farmer Albert Gough. His farm recorded 135 mm of rain at the start of December.

Quality downgrade expected . . . Mr Gough is not looking forward to the outcome of tests from his crop.

Stalks bent . . . Mr Gough stands in some lodged wheat crop on his Miepoll farm.

Positive point . . . Most of the wheat crop is still standing, which is good news for Mr Gough.

Forced into inaction . . . Miepoll farmer Albert Gough stands in front of the farm machinery that would normally be out in the paddock at this time of year, but the recent wet weather has called at halt to proceedings.

At this time of year you would be surprised to see a header not out in the paddock during harvest but after rain drenched parts of the region at the start of December, this is becoming a more familiar sight.

And for Miepoll farmer Albert Gough this is no exception.

Mr Gough said 135mm fell during December 1 and 2 at his property and his machinery had not seen any work since.

‘‘We haven’t done anything since the rain. In Miepoll it could be another six or seven days before we get on the ground,’’ he said.

‘‘All of these machines should be working.

‘‘It’s the most local water I’ve ever seen and I’ve been here all my life. The paddocks were just a sea of water.’’

Mr Gough, who grows canola, wheat, oats, lupins, triticale and barley, said he was expecting a good quality crop before the rain.

‘‘The quality was going to be good until we got this rain.

‘‘In the early sowing crops, yields were pretty good.

‘‘We are expecting it (grain crop) to be down in weight and shot and sprung,’’ he said.

Miepoll wasn’t the only place across the region to see the downpour.

Echuca recorded 140.6mm, while Kyabram (94.4mm), Benalla (93.6mm), Mangalore (89.6mm) and Shepparton (66.8mm) also have started December with high rainfall totals.

Agribusiness GrainCorp said the rain that hit Victoria and NSW to begin summer was expected to impact the quality of grains.

‘‘The widespread rain over southern areas of the east coast last week is expected to have quality impacts on wheat and barley crops,’’ a statement from the company read.

‘‘Far southern NSW, north-east and central Victoria are expected to be the worst affected with significant quantities likely to be downgraded to feed.

‘‘Despite this, the volume of feed wheat is unlikely to exceed domestic feed demand on the east coast.’’

When it comes to canola, GrainCorp said it would be assessing the crop for weather damage.

‘‘GrainCorp will be conducting routine load assessment of canola at the sample stand to ensure deliveries are in line with Australian Oilseeds Federation standards and within tolerances,’’ the statement said.

‘‘Due to increased storage risk of contamination of grain already in the system, we will be unable to accept weather damaged, sprouted and green canola.

‘‘These risks include moisture migration, development of mould and ultimately higher combustion potential.’’

The agribusiness said it was too early to comment on any damage to the remaining crop yet to be harvested.

Graincorp had received 1619000 tonnes of grain from NSW and 1321000 tonnes from Victoria as of December 4.

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