Hail storms wipe millions off the winter crop harvest

Cindy Cassidy

Cindy Cassidy

HAIL storms have shaved millions of dollars off the winter crop harvest in southern NSW.

And now the threat of heavy rain at the end of this week looms. 

Insurance assessors confirmed they had been busy in what was a tough winter cropping season. 

However, in what appears to be a reassuring measure 60 to 70 per cent of the region’s crops were insured. 

Alan Brown is an independent insurance assessor and said he had completed a lot of work around Deniliquin and southern NSW.  

“They had a fierce storm and it knocked out canola, maize and cotton,” he said. 

Mr Brown said the hail that hit the Riverina on Monday was detrimental to canola crops and the race was now on to harvest any cereal crops before the forecast rain arrived later this week. 

“The damage in some cases has been severe, I have seen up to 80 per cent losses with canola,” he said. 

“It is a shame because of the crops are very good.”

Much of the canola throughout the Riverina was laying on the ground in windrows and this still made it vulnerable to rain and hail. 

Mr Brown said it was a good year to highlight the importance of hail insurance and multi-peril cover. 

Now it is a race against the clock for contract harvesters and landholders in the Riverina who are aiming to bring winter crops in before rain hits this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast falls of up to 40mm on Friday and 20mm on Saturday for the Riverina and southern NSW. 

FarmLink chief executive officer Cindy Cassidy said there was a flurry of activity around the region as members tried to get crops harvested before the upcoming rain. 

“I think they are are all trying to get as much done as they can,” she said.  

“Everyone is putting in every effort to get it done before the rain,” she said. 

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