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Flood Water Heads for Australian Cotton Fields

31 January 2013

AUSTRALIA - It's a wait and see game for cotton growers on the Queensland-NSW border as floodwaters from Queensland move south, inundating paddocks and some farmhouses.

David Coulton, of Morella Agriculture, at Boggabilla in northern NSW, has a couple of properties in the Macintyre Valley, reports ABC Rural.

He says his current cotton crop was set to the best he'd ever grown, but all that changed when the remnants of Cyclone Oswald blew in a few days ago.

"We've probably lost 30 per cent across the lot of what the potential was. It'll now be a break-even crop. No water for next year"

Mr Coulton says this is a very unusual flood because it's come from rain on the Queensland side of the border.

"The traditional flood usually comes from the headwaters at Glen Innes and Inverell. All this water is going to hit below Goondiwindi. It is going to be a massive flood," he said.

"We have property on the Weir River and we're worried about that. There's been some inundation of cotton farms and homes that have never been under in their lives.

"We don't know how much damage has been done to cotton. There would be some losses there for sure."

Mr Coulton admits there is an upside.

"The benefit of what's happening now, at the moment, there'd be more gain than losses. Most people were short of water and had no water for next year," he said.

"We lost more from the wind and heavy rain knocking the bolls off than we did from cotton standing in water. We think we're ahead because we've got water for next year."

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