Australia's New South Wales sees giant crop losses due to flooding

13:57, January 27, 2011      

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Flood in Australia's New South Wales (NSW) has cost farmers at least 850 million AU dollars (847 million U.S. dollars) in harvest losses, the state government said on Thursday.

Almost half the 2.8 million hectare wheat crop has been downgraded to feed quality due to weather damage caused by rain and flooding, said Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan.

The ruined crops mean farmers across the state will earn at least 850 million AU dollars less for the 2010 harvest.

Whan said a significant proportion of barley and oats had been downgraded, while pulse crops also suffered in the floods, which have affected large swathes of the state since December.

Despite the wet conditions, Industry and Investment NSW forecaster more than 600,000 hectares of summer crops have been sown, excluding rice.

This is significantly higher than the estimated 240,000 hectares harvested last season.

However, the wet and humid summer has also led to an increase in insects on summer crops, leading to significantly higher production costs for farmers, Whan said.

Source: Xinhua

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