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1 December, 2021

Harvest halted

A promising harvest has been turned on its head, with more than 100 millimetres of rain falling in parts of the district.

By Emily Middleton

Dooroombah Road creek crossing at Tooraweenah. Photo supplied.

Tooraweenah resident, Nadine Jenkin, said her gauge read 110 millimetres by Sunday afternoon.

“I know that Tooraweenah township had something similar, maybe a little more, 120 or so. It was all very flooded; the oval was a sea of water. We’ve lost the creek crossing at the front of our house, that’s completely washed away, so we are kind of trapped in here at the moment,” said Mrs Jenkin.

With this much rain, harvest has been put on pause for at least another week.

“We haven’t been bogged yet, we probably will when we try to get started; 110 millimetres is going to take a long time to dry up. We were a little bit luckier, the last rain we probably got a little bit less than other people in the district. Especially with so much rain predicted for the rest of the week, I’m not really sure what that’s going to look like.

“We were trying to get as much as done before the rain as we could. We were trying to get contractors in or anyone we could to get as much done, but everyone’s in the same boat, everyone’s busy,” said Mrs Jenkin.

Getting contractors has been difficult this year at the best of times, but with harvest already delayed, finding the extra hand was next to impossible.

“Lots of people are way too busy,” said Mrs Jenkin.

“I think it’s strange timing as well because a lot of contractors have started heading south. Bendigo has started their harvest, which is a very strange scenario for us to be harvesting at the same time of people that far south.

“It’s one of those years where we were a bit late and other areas are a bit early, so there just isn’t a lot of contractors available.”

Ash Walker near Armatree said his property saw 90 millimetres of rain over the weekend. Only getting through about 15 per cent of their crop harvested, Mr Walker, like the rest of the district, is on hold.

“The grain isn’t dry, and the machine just won’t allow us to keep going.”

There are major concerns for the quality of crop dropping significantly.

“A lot of the wheat and crop is now getting downgraded quite severely. There will obviously be some price cuts, which is a bit disappointing. It was such a great year,” said Mrs Jenkin.

“We now might have a whole lot of grain that might not be worth much.”

Mrs Jenkin, as with many other farmers in the district, are encouraging other property owners to not get too caught up in the ‘what ifs’.

“You’ve got to take the good with the bad. My husband is a very positive person. He says we can’t control the weather, so there’s nothing we can do about it. No point stressing over things we can’t control.”

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