Victorian Farmers Facing 100s of Millions of Dollars of Crop Damage from Record Floods

Monday, January 17, 2011
By Paul Martin

Victorian farmers facing huge financial loss from floods

Melissa Jenkins
January 17, 2011

AFTER more than a decade of the big dry, Victorian farmers are now facing hundreds of millions of dollars of crop damage from record floods.
A good season to date had many farmers hopeful of bouncing back from the crippling financial impact of the drought but now face further despair.

After visiting the flood-affected towns of Beaufort and Glenorchy in central Victoria today, deputy premier Peter Ryan said there has been massive inundation in farming areas.

Mr Ryan said the damage would be in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“About 80 per cent of the crop had been taken off by the time this happened but we fear … they won’t be getting any more crop because it’s simply too wet to be able to take it off,” he said.

“For many people of course they were looking at this season only a few weeks ago as being the way out for a lot of them from literally years of despair in the course of drought.

“They then weathered the nightmare of the locusts and only now they have to stand on the front verandah and look out over these paddocks that are covered in water and somehow it’s just not fair.”

Geoff Rethus, who has three farms near Horsham, estimates he has lost up to $300,000 as a result of the flood damage to his broadbean, barley and wheat crops.

“We have some property just downstream from Horsham and at the moment we’re experiencing quite substantial flooding across some of our unharvested crops there,” he said.

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