Dry Wheatbelt facing 'desperation stages'Thursday June 27, 2013 - 13:59 EST
Western Australia's peak farming lobby has warned grain growers in the eastern Wheatbelt are facing increasingly desperate times, after a dry start to winter.
The WA Farmers Federation warned earlier this year that eastern Wheatbelt growers were in crisis, with major debt problems and a run of consecutive bad seasons.
Those growers are again battling low rainfall, with just six millimetres falling in Merredin and three in Corrigin so far this June.
Federation president Dale Park says it is so dry in some parts, crops are starting to die.
"Blokes out there, seeing they'd had summer rain, were really looking for even just below average, which would have been enough for them to get a decent crop off," he said.
"Now it looks like we're having another really dry season, that really does make it very difficult for them."
He says it will be tough for already struggling growers to recover this season unless rain comes quickly.
"They always seem to get a bit of a spurt on if they can just get a bit of rain but I did hear someone saying the other day saying that they reckon their crops are starting to die now," he said.
"So really it's desperation stages now for some crops out there."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Severe thunderstorms that ravaged the Hunter region and the Central Coast of New South Wales are over, the Bureau of Meteorology says, but Ausgrid and SES volunteers are still working to repair the damage.
More than 12,000 insurance claims have already been lodged with damages at an estimated $31 million following the .
Southern parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria have been lashed with heavy rain and gusty winds as a tropical low makes its presence felt.