WA farmers suffer losses due to unusual frost

WA farmers suffer losses due to unusual frost | Insurance Business

WA farmers suffer losses due to unusual frost
With no guarantees or insurance against frost, a large number of farmers have suffered losses due to below-freezing temperatures in Wheatbelt, South West, and Great Southern regions, it has been reported.

Some farmers have reported losing up to 50 per cent of their crops due to the ‘unusual’ frost, while others have been virtually unaffected, ABC reported.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has characterised the number of frosts that greatly affected Central and Western Wheatbelt as unusual, probably due to the spring’s unseasonably cold start in the state, the report said.

Braden Grylls whose property lies west of Corrigin has expressed disappointment given how well the crops were going: "It's one of those things, you have such a good year like you're having this year and you think well something's going to give.

"You just back on putting a crop in knowing you're going to get a frost... We've been getting these three of four mil events and then you might get a frost the next morning which on a normal year, that's unheard of, it's just one of those things that's happening this year, on such a good year unfortunately.”

Colin Nicholl, a farmer of 50 years, told ABC that ironically, what was shaping up to be one of the most promising seasons in recent years has also proven to be vulnerable to the freezing conditions.

"One of the vagaries of frost is that the better the crop the harder frost hits it," Nicholl said.

"We are now growing much higher yields than we have ever done before, but I think there are other factors in that, we just seem to be getting later frosts and frosts of more intensity than we ever used to before."

Agronomist Helen Wyatt said the frost has caused widespread damage: "We're seeing varied levels of frost damage throughout the region.”

"In some areas it’s hard to tell the extent of the damage yet, there's been consecutive frost events and some this morning as well so we really won't see the full effect of that for another 7 to 10 days."

Nicholl took the losses philosophically: "It's all part and parcel of farming, while it's difficult to take, to be successful you can't just throw the towel in."

CBH, the state’s grain handler, said it would only know the true extent of losses until harvest start, ABC reported. 

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