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Rain halts Mallee grain harvesting

Brett Worthington, Thursday December 5, 2013 - 11:42 EDT
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Mildura received more than 150 per cent of its average December rain in 24 hours. - ABC

Grain harvesting in the Mallee has come to a halt with more than 60 millimetres of rain falling in parts of north-west Victoria.

Mildura and Swan Hill have received about 150 per cent of their average December rain in the past 24 hours.

Millewa grain grower Eric Yeates says he's hoping the rain soaks in to boost next year's crops.

"It might be bad at the time, but in the long run you benefit from it," he said.

"It might do you a bit of short-term damage, but if you can trap it there for next year, it's very valuable.

"We've got to take the rain when it comes and be grateful for it, because you never know when you're going to get the next one."

The rain has also delayed pesticide spraying of grapevines and almond orchards throughout the region.

Riverland dryland farmer Phil Kernich says he won't be able to resume harvesting until the weekend.

"I don't think it is going to do a lot of damage, but it just put us off for a few days," he said.

"(We can) catch up on some rest and we'll be into it again.

"We've only got five days to go and we'll finish.

"It's pretty well a nuisance - that's all it was."


© ABC 2013

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