Parkes grain growers have been challenged by the climate this year.

Grain growers in Parkes have faced multiple climatic challenges this season.
Grain growers in Parkes have faced multiple climatic challenges this season.

Most Parkes grain growers were already through upwards of 80 per cent of this year’s harvest when rain began to fall last Friday.

For those that weren’t finished harvesting the rain added to a climatically challenging year which will see the remainder of their crops downgraded.

Agronomist Peter Yelland said while grain growers definitely didn’t need the rain, it has been events that occurred during the growing season which have had the greatest impact on this year’s low yielding grain crop.

“It could’ve been a whole lot worse,” Mr Yelland said of the rain and the current season which will see a lot of growers “break even” at best.

“What is left (in the paddock) it is hard to say what the rain will do from a dollar point of view as prices for downgraded grain have not been set yet,” he said.

Mr Yelland said farmers could however be looking at losing anywhere from $50 to $100 a tonne for downgraded wheat.

“Considering we’re in a low yielding year every dollar is at a premium,” Mr Yelland said.

“It’s been a very variable year but significantly better than this time last year and some farmers will at least break even.

“At the end of September we were looking at a complete disaster.

“We’d had so little rain during the growing period and a lot of frost events, severe frost events which were very damaging to yields.

“It really has been a very strange year climatically.

“Some guys have had more rain in the past three weeks than they experienced in the entire growing season,” Mr Yelland said.

Bureau of Meteorology figures show that from the beginning of August until the November 15 Parkes received just 87.6mm of rain.

In contrast the district received a 176.8mm drenching in the following 21 days.

“Rain at the point of harvest is when you don’t want it,” Mr Yelland said.

Parkes recorded 55.2mm of rain in the 24 hours up until 9am on Saturday, December 2. A further 43.3mm fell in the 24 hours up to 9am Sunday, December 3.