Wimmera farmers breathe sigh of relief

WIMMERA grain storage sites hope to re-open early this week to allow harvest to continue in the region.

Farmers were racing against the clock last week, trying to strip crops before forecasts of up to 200 millimetres hit the region.

Growers feared that the heavy rain would destroy millions of tonnes of unharvested crops throughout the Wimmera.

However, the majority of the region’s rain fell overnight on Thursday, with between 20mm and 40mm recorded in most parts of the Wimmera.

Grain receival sites in the region were flat out in the lead-up to the rain, as growers tried to store their grain before the wet weather.

Shannon Bros has storage sites at Beulah and Horsham.

The company's Clayton Shannon said both sites were closed about 2pm on Thursday.

"It was fairly hectic up until then but we had to close early unfortunately," he said.

"We tried to accommodate growers as much as we could up until then."

Mr Shannon said staff worked until 11pm on Thursday to try to get all the bunkers secured.

"It was hectic and painful, but we got there," he said.

Mr Shannon said it would now be a waiting game to see when harvest would resume.

"I can't see us re-opening before Monday at this stage," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see – it will depend on how much damage the wet weather does, but we'll assess everything as we go."

Beulah farmer Ross Williams recorded 27mm overnight on Thursday.

"There were huge claps of thunder, but it seems to have cleared by Friday morning – just the odd little spit here and there," he said.

At Rupanyup, grower Ash Teasdale recorded 25mm during the worst of the wet weather.

He said there was still a few little showers on Friday, but nothing that was measurable..

"It was mostly misty rain,” he said.

Mr Teasdale said if it did not keep raining across the weekend, crops in the region should be alright.

Murra Warra’s David Jochinke received 26mm at his property.

“It’s one of the times you're happy the forecasters are wrong,” he said.

“The forecast is only ever a model. The more information we can get from the bureau, the better decisions we can make.

“Regardless of what rain we received, I think the people who were able to maximise the hours on the header prior to the storm would be pleased they were able to do that.

“I’d say people will be right back into harvest this week.

“We're getting a bit of sunlight and plenty of wind, which is exactly what we want.”