Thursday, October 2, 2008

Record temperatures destroy Victorian wheat crops

Record temperatures across Victoria's north last weekend laid waste to the state's wheat crops, the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says.

Temperatures as high as 34 celsius at Swan Hill, in the state's north, and strong winds destroyed cropping areas across the Mallee, Wimmera and northeast, ending hopes that farmers could recover from the drought this year.
"The long hoped for recovery has not arrived and farmers are looking for direction on the support that will enable them to plan for the survival of their farms and businesses over the difficult summer ahead," he said.

"A combination of high temperatures and close to no rainfall has meant that hundreds of farmers have now reached the point of no return.

"Low irrigation allocations will make it increasingly difficult for the Victorian horticulture and dairy industries to continue production over the summer months.

"The chips are down; it is time for the government to reinstate the support measures that ended on July 1 this year."

Mr Ramsay said state government support had helped farmers maintain production by keeping skills in rural areas, reducing costs, allowing access to counselling and ensuring proper management of environmental impacts.

"Failed crop, after failed crop has meant that continuation of this support is now as critical as ever before," he said.
Record temperatures destroy wheat crops
NSW temps to hit 35C in summer prelude

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