RIVERINA crops have been battered to the ground following a hail storm.
Wheat, canola and barely, that were showing promise of bumper yields, were not spared in the storm that swept through the region near Junee.
Tony Clough farms at “Windermere,” and “Brendon” and witnessed first-hand a storm that delivered a devastating blow.
He said 40mm of rain fell in quick succession and the hail that came with it bashed crops to the ground.
“It looks like I put 1000 wethers on the paddock and grazed it,” he said.
“There are two paddocks with nothing left,” Mr Clough explained.
He said wheat and canola was affected and to some extent barley was damaged to.
“We got absolutely smashed over a period of 20 minutes,” he said.
While the property “Brendon” was affected by the storm damage crops at “Windermere” largely escaped the storm which was estimated to come through in a strip spanning around two kilometres.
The damage has arrived at a time when crops in the region were looking fantastic due to good falls of rain.
NSW Farmers Wagga and district branch chairman Alan Brown said he had heard of large areas of crops being damaged by hail.
Mr Brown is also a crop insurance consultant. “The severity is high,” he said.
In addition to the Junee area Mr Brown said there were reports of damage coming in from Barellan and Weethalle as well.
“The damage is certainly there,” he said.
“And this is living proof as to why you should always insure for these events … it is sad for people who have been hit hard,” he said.
Mr Brown said the hail had come at the worst time because of the maturity of crops.
He said a storm like that meant there was nothing left.
The severity of losses in this area was expected to come to light in the next week or so as more people inspected crops.
Courtesy of therural.com.au
Disaster declared due to extreme drought in Aroostook County, Maine, USA #Drought #AroostookCounty #Maine #USA
The federal government has declared Aroostook County a “drought disaster” area as the region faces a prolonged dry spell.
This summer was one of the driest on record for The County — which has been placed under a severe drought status known as D2 — brought on by low soil moisture, lack of rainfall, drying vegetation and low stream flows.
The designation is given to areas experiencing severe droughts for eight consecutive weeks or a higher level drought intensity value for any period of time. Water levels in Aroostook and Penobscot rivers reached an all-time low earlier this year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The only other drought in Maine as severe as this was nearly 20 years ago — from 2001 to 2002.
“We have over 150 years of records at [the Penobscot water monitoring] location,” Nick Stasulis, the geological survey’s data section chief, told The Houlton Pioneer Times earlier this month. “So certainly that is a significant data set when you’re looking at the historical perspective.”
Due to the severe drought conditions, farmers in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties are eligible for emergency assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
Farmers have eight months from the date of a disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans from the USDA. The Farm Service Agency considers the extent of production losses on the farm and the operator’s security and repayment ability in reviewing emergency loan applications.
These emergency loans can be used to restore or replace “essential property,” pay off production costs accrued during the disaster year, cover family living expenses, reorganize farming operations and refinance debts, the agency said.
Other services such as the Livestock Forage Program, Emergency Livestock Assistance Program, the Emergency Conservation Program and the Non-insurable Crop Assistance Program are also available to farmers in counties in a severe drought.
Farmers in need of hay for their livestock can use the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Hay Directory, too.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry also encourages farmers to plan for future droughts by upgrading their water supplies and improving soil. Farmers should contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District or local Natural Resources Conservation Service for help with soil health practices.
Courtesy of bangordailynews.com