Wet harvest woes continue

Once again I haven’t had internet connection for several days, so it hasn’t been until today that I’ve managed to catch up on emails and what’s been happening with my Nuffield chums who’ve been having the harvest from hell thanks to the rain.

While things have got steadily drier for me as I’ve headed west towards Adelaide, it seems things are still decidedly soggy in the east. Few farmers have managed to do much harvesting yet, and the quality is looking pretty shoddy.

Looking at the photos sent to me by Nuffield chum Dave Gooden of the farmland near him in Wagga Wagga, it’s not surprising he reported his combine getting bogged seven times in the paddock before he admitted defeat:

Soggy Wogga

Soggy Wagga 2
, who I visited after Dave, has had now had the second-wettest year on record, with 800mm of rain over the year (the annual average is usually just 450mm). Having stayed here for a couple of days and seen some really torrential rainfall myself, it’s hard to imagine just how much rain would have to have fallen to cause this:

Soggy Barooga
Apparently the flooding has now caused $1bn-worth of damage to crops across New South Wales and Victoria. Coming after a decade of drought, the stress became so much for some that there have been reports of farmer suicides.

Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bad where I’m staying at the moment. A lot of the rains came just at the right time to help water the crops and the showers haven’t been as persistent. Most farmers’ harvests haven’t been delayed too badly, and the crops are coming off at a good quality – according to an article I read yesterday, farmers in South Australia are going to have the most profitable year out of all the states as a result.

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