Sheep die amid big wet

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 20 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

THE record-breaking deluge across northern Tasmania has waterlogged poppy crops and claimed the lives of newborn lambs and older sheep.

Tasmania's peak farming body said some farmers had reported losses of newborn lambs in the extreme conditions.

Some "off-shears" sheep have also been lost in situations where producers did not have enough room to keep all the animals under cover.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association CEO Jan Davis said the heavy rain had also caused some damage to poppy crops.

Farmers will assess the crop damage as the weather clears this week.

The rain has also held up pea planting because farmers cannot access already ploughed paddocks.

But Ms Davis said potato planting should go ahead on schedule if the ground dried out quickly.

She said August rains were usually welcomed because they ensured livestock feed would grow in spring.

"That said, up to 220mm in August is on the high side," Ms Davis said.

"But there were quite large variations in rainfall over relatively small distances in the north and the south of the State.

"Much of the big rain was in the North-West which has created extremely slushy pasture conditions but not losses.

"Of course feed value deteriorates is such conditions -- temporarily."

Ms Davis said Tasmania had experienced minor flooding every August for the past four years.

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