PROMISING: Andrew Short from Pacific Seeds said with above average rainfall predicted in winter, it’s good news for growers. Pic: Supplied
PROMISING: Andrew Short from Pacific Seeds said with above average rainfall predicted in winter, it’s good news for growers. Pic: Supplied

TOP STORIES: News you may have missed this week

OUR news feeds are flooded with information about COVID-19 and the pandemic taking over our communities.

While we will continue to provide you all the latest and up-to-date coronavirus stories, we are also bringing you great news from Chinchilla and the surrounding areas.


Take a look back at the top stories from the Chinchilla district you might have missed this week:


Driver pulls through after triple tragedy crash

A woman fighting for life in hospital has pulled through after a horrific Western Downs crash which claimed the lives of three men.

The 42-year-old woman's condition has been downgraded from critical to stable two weeks after the crash.

The driver was airlifted to Princess Alexander Hospital after the car she was driving with five passengers on-board hit a tree and erupted into flames on Chinchilla Tara Road on Thursday, May 21.


I nsurer deems gas too risky, pulls farmers cover

As farmers with coal seam gas (CSG) on their properties struggle to navigate their relationship with gas companies, Australia's leading rural insurance provider has issued a blow to landholders by no longer covering public liability.

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) said customers who "have operational CSG or shale gas activities or infrastructure on their property, such as a coal seam gas well, we will be unable to provide liability cover as part of their insurance policy".

Landholder advocate and consultant Shay Dougall said the move is not only concerning, but clearly demonstrates the lack of support farmers receive, and cements them at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to multinational gas companies.


Best winter cropping outlook in four years predicted

Projected rainfall combined with earlier rainfall this year has many Australian farmers positively positioned ahead of the winter season, with the current winter cropping outlook predicted to be the best since 2016.

With preparations well underway, growers are banking on predicted rainfall to ensure the season is as substantial and successful as it is indicated.

For winter (June till August) the predicted median rainfall for Chinchilla is 67mm and for Miles 79mm with a 45 per cent chance those medians could be exceeded.


Concern for Western Downs sorghum crops

As late sorghum growers debate when to harvest high moisture crops, grain storage specialists have said if possible, get organised and get it off.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) senior development agronomist, Philip Burrill, said late planted sorghum crops in the region were presenting harvest concerns because their moisture content was well above the safe storage level of 13.5 per cent.

Mr Burrill said to avoid quality downgrades it was critical growers had clear plans in place to implement aeration or grain drying strategies appropriate for moisture levels and with consideration for their equipment.


Changes made to Farm Household Allowance makes access easier

Since its inception, the Farm Household Allowance has resulted in 14,900 people in need receiving over $459 million in financial assistance.

Now, new measures to improve the FHA program are in effect.

These changes make the FHA payment simpler to access and improve the support available to farmers and their families.

Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud said changes to the FHA over the last year bring more certainty to farmers and their partners around the support they can access during difficult times.

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