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Blow for Tasmanian farmers as heavy rain washes away crops

Friday November 22, 2013 - 11:28 EDT
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Crops planted over the past week have washed away. - ABC

Heavy rainfall throughout the state has had a devastating effect on many Tasmanian farmers.

Many crops have washed away after downpours in state's north.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association's Jan Davis says a wet winter and spring has already delayed planting.

She says the latest downpour is potentially devastating for farmers.

"The soil's really, really wet and it's been difficult to get anything planted," she said.

"With yesterday's rain, those who had got something planted either will have their young crops water logged and possibly rotted off.

"If they'd seeded, as some had done in the dry week we had last week, I know a lot of farmers watched their seeds wash down the creek."

Poppies and peas are among the crops hit hardest.

Farmers are assessing the damage today but Ms Davis says there has been quite a bit of damage on top of what has already been a fairly ordinary season.

She farmers are counting the costs.

"If you think about it like those of us that are lucky enough to get a pay cheque every week, it's like missing out on a year's pay."

"And it's actually even worse that that because they've had to put all that money into putting there seeds in the ground so the soil preparation, the seeds, looking after them and that money's all gone.

"So it's pretty devastating."

The weather bureau expects rivers to continue to rise after the heavy rain.

The north-east and east coast were hit hard yesterday by rain and thunderstorms, but conditions have eased overnight.

The weather bureau's Glen Perrin says there are flood warnings in place.

"Since 9 am (Wednesday) we have had falls around 40 to 60 millimetres in the north-east and down the east coast and with the ground being fairly saturated in those areas already we have seen some reasonable river rises associated with that," he said.

St Leonard's Road near Johnsons Road and Nile Road at Deddington are closed because of flooding.


© ABC 2013

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