'Double whammy' for flood-hit NSW farmers

·2-min read

Farmers in NSW's central west are fearing mass crop losses after flooding rains hit the region.

The high price of wheat and canola had seen plenty of crops planted around the district, with thousands of acres now under water, and the worst still to come for some.

In Cowra, Ed Fagan says 600 acres (243 hectares) of his property at "Mulyan", which runs along the Lachlan River, is now flooded.

"We've got a lot of country that was inundated and a lot of crop that was ready to harvest that are now a write off," Mr Fagan told AAP.

"We've got crops that have been good as we've grown for 10 years or more that have been submerged and turned into a lake."

He says water levels on his farm are already half a metre higher than the major flood of 2016.

The flood five years ago is estimated to have cost the area more than $200 million in lost agricultural output.

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole, who visited the region on Monday, said the floods were particularly disheartening for farmers who had been expecting a bumper harvest.

"I saw farmland that has now got waters starting to go through the crops," the NSW Nationals leader said.

"This means that they won't get the same harvest that they were predicting several weeks ago."

"It now means that the crop - the quantity, the quality of it - is going to be impacted."

Mr Fagan says the timing of this flood couldn't have been worse for the Lachlan Valley region, with winter crops just weeks off from being harvested, while summer crops have just been planted.

"It's a double whammy," he said.

"We've spent all the money on it. That's the thing that's annoying. If this was a flood in August you're only halfway through the expense of growing a crop. Right at the end you've spent everything."

With more heavy rain forecast for this weekend, he is holding off cleaning up.

"It's one of those things where you want to have a look at it and then go away for two weeks and come back and see if it looks any better. It's not great for your psyche when you've been so excited to get a big crop through."

Mr Fagan says the economic cost of the flood is another reason why the Wyangala Dam wall needs to be raised.

"It has to be raised ... how many flood costs do they need to add up to to cover the cost of the dam wall."

The deputy premier said on Tuesday the NSW government was committed to critical infrastructure including raising the Wyangala Dam wall.

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