Australia - Farmers start to tally costs of Lachlan River flood, as peak moves downstream

19.11.2021 300 views

Farmers in the Lachlan Valley are starting to tally up the costs as floodwaters move down the river system — with some facing tens of millions of dollars in crop losses. 

"This was all meadow grass, good grazing grass, and it's destroyed — it won't come back," Laurie Norris said while riding Blossom to inspect the flood damage on his property on the outskirts of Forbes.

Riding a horse is the only way to access the farm with a foot of water across the paddocks where he lost his lucerne crop that was within days of being cut for hay.

"That was going to be our feed for the stock for the next 12 months, so now we'll have to buy feed," he said.

Mr Norris is just one of many farmers assessing the damage from floodwaters passing through the district.

The Lachlan River peaked at 10.53 metres in Forbes on Thursday morning, just below the 2016 flood level.

But farmers across the region say the flood impacts on their properties have been equal to and potentially even worse than the devastating peak five years ago.

This week the New South Wales government announced it had started the process for Forbes to be declared a natural disaster zone. 

The waters are making their way slowly to the Jemalong irrigation district downstream.

"It couldn't have come at a worse time, because we're just on the brink of securing a really good crop," local farmer Peter Francis said.

The mild spring weather across the state has delayed harvest in the region.

It meant virtually no crops had been stripped before the floodwaters arrived.

"To have all this at risk is devastating," Mr Francis said.

Further downstream, at Jemalong Station, water is streaming out of the river and into thousands of hectares of wheat paddocks that were just days away from harvest.

Station manager Lee Maxwell said it was especially worrying as the peak of the flood was yet to arrive at his farm.

"Who knows how high it could go," he said.

"It's devastating — we've spent every cent that we could possibly spend on it to maximise yields and take advantage of the high commodity prices at the moment."

Flood sparks renewed calls for larger dam

The Lachlan River flooding has renewed calls to raise the Wyangala Dam wall upstream.

The controversial project was promised during the drought to increase the storage capacity by 50 per cent to save water and help with flood mitigation.
The farmers who are now ankle deep in water say this flood shows why the project needs to go ahead.

The floodwater impacting the region now spilled out of Wyanagla Dam when it reached capacity over the weekend — four to five days ago.

Nick Turner, who represents irrigators in the Jemalong region, says the project is vital to safeguard future crops. 

"This event would have been able to be mitigated significantly if we had additional airspace in the dam," he said.

"There's a number of benefits of having a larger dam … it was only a few years ago everyone was short of water.

"There's so many reasons now why the dam has to go ahead."

More rain predicted

Farmers in the region are also cautious of the weekend forecast with rain predicted across most of New South Wales.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a deep low pressure system will cross the state during the weekend with the potential for widespread rainfall and renewed riverine and flash flooding.

And with Wyangala Dam still full, it could be a nervous week ahead for farmers on the Lachlan River and throughout the valley.

Source -


Italy - Bad weather strikes Sicily once again

A bad weather front has hit an area specialized in intensive cultivation in protected facilities between Gela (CL) and Ispica (RG), Sicily. The damage registered hasn't been huge, at least not everywhere, but some companies had to deal with the partial collapse of their greenhouses or polytunnels.


India - Farmers In Bhadrak, Puri districts stare at huge crop loss prospects

Farmers are going to bear the brunt of approaching cyclone Jawad as they are yet to shift their harvested paddy to safety. Already affected by the pandemic, paddy farmers and vegetable growers hoped for a decent harvest this season. But, cyclone ‘Jawad’ is going to dash their hopes to the ground. 


United Kingdom - Success in chemical-free insect control trial

A unique field trial achieved a 91 per cent reduction in an invasive target pest first spotted in the UK in 2012. Agritech start-up BigSis conducted the trial in partnership with Berry Gardens, the UK’s largest supplier of berries and cherries, and the world-renowned research institute NIAB EMR.


India - Flood loss pegged at Rs 11k crore, crop on 10 lakh hectares damaged in Karnataka

Heavy rains in the last two months claimed 42 lives and left a trail of destruction in several districts. The state government has pegged the losses at Rs 11,916 crore. Agriculture crops in over 7.9 lakh hectares, 1.25 lakh hectares of horticulture crops, 74,530 hectares of plantation crops and 243 hectares of sericulture crops have been damaged due to heavy rains in October and November 2021.


USA - New research takes aim at devastating citrus greening

Citrus greening, or Huanglongbing disease, HLB, is the most devastating disease for orange and grapefruit trees in the U.S. Prevention and treatment methods have proven elusive, and a definitive cure does not exist.


Israel - In MY 2020/21, citrus production dropped 4.3 percent below initial 2020 estimates

It is estimated that MY 2021/22 will be characterized by low production – falling considerably below the average total citrus production of 512 thousand metric tons (TMT) – due to extreme weather conditions during the growing season.


France - Small harvest and difficult sales in 2021

According to the French agricultural statistics service Agreste, “On November 1st 2021, the estimated areas planted with melons in 2021 correspond to 12,100 ha, which is 1% more than last year and 6% less than the 2016-2020 average. 


USA - USDA improves, strengthens crop insurance for hemp producers

In response to feedback received from the producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is improving crop insurance for hemp. USDA’s Risk Management Agency is strengthening the hemp crop insurance policy by adding flexibilities around how producers work with processors as well as improving consistency with the most recent USDA hemp regulation.