No wonder we felt it was really, really hot

February 07, 2018

Torrumbarry avocado grower Andrew Crossman said the hot days had affected his avocados.

ECHUCA sweltered through 12 consecutive days of temperatures above 35C.

The long run of hot temperatures has equalled the record set in January 1981.

And for four days in a row, the mercury hit 40C and above, peaking to 44.1C on January 20.

There have only been eight years with more than four 40-degree days; the highest being seven in January 1981 and January 2014.

And with 17 days of above 35C temperatures, it is no surprise our average maximum temperature of 34.6C is the highest in nine years.

And the high temperatures are proving challenging for horticulturalists and farmers around the region.

Torrumbarry avocado grower Andrew Crossman said the hot days had certainly affected the avocados that were not under the canopy.

‘‘We’ve had a lot drop off because of sunburn,’’ he said. ‘‘Because of the higher temperatures, some of the new foliage has also burnt off, so the new growth won’t come to anything which means we’ll have to wait until our autumn flush.’’

Bamawm dairy farmer Steve Hawken said although his cows were not visibly stressed from the heat, milk production dropped slightly.

‘‘The cows didn’t want to eat as much, which affects the milk production,’’ he said. ‘‘Anything over 30 degrees can negatively impact on cows.’’

Thirteen millimetres of rain did provide a welcome relief on January 27 after a four-day hot spell, adding to a 34mm total.

Which was 6.5mm more rain than average for the month.

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