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25/11/2014

Growers count the cost of storm damage

Winegrape growers in southwest NSW have lost up to 20,000 tonnes of the 2015 harvest from a storm that ripped through properties in Gol Gol North, Buronga, Mourquong, Curlwaa and Coomealla on Saturday.

The damage bill will run to millions of dollars, with the loss of wine grapes alone estimated to be worth up to $6 million.

Mike Stone, Murray Valley Winegrowers chief executive, said growers needed to estimate the cost of damage as soon as possible to assist the state government in assessing relief measures.

“Some properties have been stripped bare while those on the fringe of the storm’s path suffered relatively minor damage,” he said.

“This is a major setback for wine grape growers who’ve been struggling to make ends meet for the past several years.

“The effects of the storm damage are likely to be felt beyond next year’s harvest, with vines that have sustained serious damage likely to produce lower yields in the 2016 vintage.”

Damage reports must be submitted to Rhonda Duscher at the Buronga office of Western Local Land Services -03 5021 9460 .

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