Friday, 20 June 2008

Rains bring hope to Australian wheat farmers

NARRABRI, Australia: Wheat farmers in Australia, one of the world's biggest exporters of the grain, raced this week to plant their fields, gambling that recent rain would lead to one of the best crops on record and put an end to seven hard years of drought.
In one of the biggest Australian grain belts in New South Wales State, wheat farmers struggling with years of losses were once again ploughing and sowing their fields around the clock, encouraged by a few weeks of steady rain and forecasts for a rebounding harvest.
"It was fantastic rain," said Ron Greentree, the biggest individual grower in Australia, whose workers were busily sowing about 80,000 hectares, or 198,000 acres.
"Everyone around here is working 24 hours, now we've got the rains," he said as he walked through one of his fields. "We have waited a long time for this rain. We are 70 percent done. Hopefully we will finish in the next 10 days."

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