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NSW floods to devastate crops and herds

AAP logoAAP 26/09/2016

HOW WILL NSW FLOODS IMPACT FARMERS?

CROPS

* Tens of thousands of hectares of crops are underwater, likely to lead to heavy losses due to waterlogging, especially for pulses (e.g. chickpeas, lupins etc).

* Crop diseases expected and spraying difficult due to plane shortages.

* Harvest due to start in November and farmers need at least three weeks without rain to get machinery onto paddocks. No harvest equals no income for crop farmers.

* Another issue is roads being washed away. Even if crops can be harvested, getting them to market might not be possible.

LIVESTOCK

* Dairy farms already affected, with road closures leading to milk being dumped as farmers struggle to get stock out.

* Besides drowning, prolonged wet hooves can maim or kill cattle, horses and sheep through conditions such as heel abscesses.

* Mosquito population will boom and several flood-related diseases puts livestock at risk.

* Mouldy hay and contaminated silage can injure and kill livestock.

* Horses in floods are vulnerable to fractures and skin conditions such as rainscald, mudfever and fungal infections.

* Some farmers have been selling off livestock before and during the floods to reduce risk.

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