Crop losses have been estimated to be well into the $680 million mark, according to the Central West Local Land Services’ latest flood damage update.
Total agricultural damage has been estimated to be in excess of $720 million.
The Central West LLS has made its estimation based on the best information currently available – they say losses will vary based on length and breadth of water inundation, yield loss and the ability to harvest.
To date 145,314 ha pasture losses have been reported with many affected landholders yet to report damage, due to access and other issues.
There has been significant damage to crops and pastures in areas affected by recent flooding with the worst hit areas being Forbes, Corinella, Condobolin and Nyngan.
Badly affected crops (those submerged or inundated for long periods) will be a complete loss in many cases.
Central West Local Land Services officer in mixed farming at Forbes, Dr Belinda Hackney, said that delays to summer crop planting may be expected in many areas as paddocks may remain non-trafficable for a considerable time.
“Weed issues may also be worse in summer and subsequent winter crops due to movement of weed seed with flood waters,” she said.
“As opposed to most years where we are normally looking for rain at this time of year, farmers are now hoping for dry conditions in coming weeks.
“Substantial rain could still further exacerbate problems with damage extending further to include crops that are currently marginal but may recover in the absence of further rain.”
LLS will be continually assessing agricultural flood damage as a result of significant rainfall recorded across the Central West region over the last several weeks.
Central West LLS customer service staff will remain available to receive individual damage reports.
Farmers are encouraged to call 1300 795 299, email email@example.com or contact their nearest LLS office to report agricultural losses including fencing, crops and stranded, injured or deceased livestock.
While producers are encouraged to contact their nearest LLS office to report agricultural losses, any immediate calls for assistance should be directed to the State Emergency Service on 132 500.