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AU: Floods affect asparagus crop

Asparagus growers fear they have suffered permanent damage to their crops from extensive flooding of their paddocks during the winter.

Grower, Con Raffa says some of his paddocks are still so muddy he is having to pull tractors out of them on occasions.

"It’s still too early to be sure about the crop, but we’re not getting the number of spears or the sizes we would normally expect at this stage of the season," Mr Raffa said.

"That could be the effects of a long cold winter, but I suspect it’s got more to do with the flooding."

The growers have filed a 1900-signature petition calling for action on the region’s open drain system with the State Government.

"It was tabled on September 12 and we’re hoping it will result in some improvement," Mr Raffa said.

Both Melbourne Water and Cardinia Council have promised to continue efforts to upgrade the drain system.

But Melbourne Water’s general manager of waterways David Ryan warned flooding in the area could never be completely eliminated.

Cardinia Council operations team leader Mark Howard said the shire was spending $180,000 to reduce flood risk in low-lying areas of the shire.

Work on 25 out of 60 sites has been completed.


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