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Severe Crop Losses Predicted from Heatwave

published  First Published: 11/01/2010
Article written by: Nigel Brookson
As the heat continues today across South Australia and Victoria, fire authorities say conditions are at their worst in the south east of the country since the Black Saturday fires just over a year ago.
The late winter rains had produced ground vegitation that is now the perfect kindling to carry a fire quickly.
An expected top of 42 degrees in Adelaide will officially be a heatwave for the South Australian capital.
Other capitals in the south east of the country are also expected to reach tops of 43 in Melbourne, 38 in Canberra and 36 in Hobart.
Northern Victorian table grape grower John Argiro says the menindie seedless grapes are very small.
"My crop's down 70 to 80 per cent lower than last year," he says.
Chris Byrne from the Riverland wine grape growers association says local growers and wine companies will meet tomorrow to discuss the effects of the heatwave.
He says early indications are that crops are lighter than they were a few months ago, and he says over the border in the Sunraysia district, it looks like the harvest could be 30 per cent lower.
South Australian fire authorities are expecting the state's worst fire conditions in five years with catastrophic warnings ( a new fire rating) across ten fire regions.
A code red warning is in force in the wimmera region of western Victoria, with farmers saying they're prepared to stay on their properties to fight any fires.


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