Weekend rain and hail damages eastern crops

27 Oct, 2015 11:55 AM
The hail just flattened crops and brought down some trees and there's muck everywhere

A DUMP of rain between 28 millimetres and 30mm and three waves of hail storms last Sunday night has caused damage on John Nicoletti's Lake View property at Westonia.

"We're unsure of the total damage because we're still inspecting the property but there's at least one paddock where crop damage will almost make it a wipe out," Mr Nicoletti said.

"The hail just flattened crops and brought down some trees and there's muck everywhere.

"It's just one of those things because if we had got that rain a month ago we would be staring at a great crop result.

"But you can't think about that, all you can do is take a day at a time."

Bodallin farmer Ian Della Bosca was busy assessing damage when Farm Weekly called.

"It started about 5pm on Sunday and we copped three separate hail storms," he said.

"The hail was golf ball size and it has knocked the crop around so I suspect we've copped a bit of damage.

"We got 38mm from the rain which was a month too late.

"Before this it looked like we might turn out a half reasonable year and we had already started into oats before the storms.

"Hopefully we can get started again next week."

Westonia farmer Ross Della Bosca said he was fortunate to have missed the hail storm.

"We got 12mm which is handy for some of the crops that are still green," he said.

"They're hanging on because of good subsoil moisture and I'd estimate about 50 per cent of the crop is still green.

"It's a pity we didn't get this rain last month because it would really have put some cream into the equation."

Clint Della Bosca's Southern Cross farm suffered through 40mm of rain and hail the size of golf balls in one area.

He said they were looking at an average to slightly above average harvest this year.

"Dad is assessing the damage at the moment, but there is definitely some grain on the ground," he said.

"We have just about ticked every box on the insurance claim this year, all we need now is a fire.

"But it's just one of those things."

Another Southern Cross farmer Callum Wesley said they were knocked about by three storm cells that rolled through the area.

"There were three storm cells that followed each other through Southern Cross in what would have been about a 10km-wide straight strip," he said.

"While the first didn't hold much, it was the next ones that carried hail bigger than my thumbnail."

Mr Wesley said while their home property in Moorine Rock didn't receive any hail, it still saw between 20-30mm of rain.

"We were due to start harvest tomorrow (Tuesday) but this will put us back another five days," he said.

Mr Wesley said they will now be assessing the hail damage and placing an insurance claim within the next week.

"We have insurance luckily, but it is still disappointing, especially after our last few years," he said.

"This year was looking likely to be an above average harvest, but we could lose up to 70 per cent on some crops."

Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson

is Farm Weekly's machinery writer


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