WHILE farmers have become so accustomed to drought conditions it's almost second nature, one look at many of the paddocks around the region and there's now a new problem to deal with.
Since May, the Ballarat region has seen almost 100mm more rain than average, which has seen many - particularly low-lying and flat paddocks - become waterlogged, destroying crops.
One drive towards Lake Burrumbeet along the Western Highway and in some parts it is difficult to tell where the lake ends and the paddocks begin.
For young farmers around the district, it's one of the first times they have seen such damp conditions in winter given the run of dry winters in recent years.
But for others, like Lake Burrumbeet's Alan McCartney who has been farming the land for 50 years, it's something he always plans for.
"This is an old fashioned winter from 20-30 years ago," he said.
"Some of the paddocks are incredibly damp.
"I don't think we've had so many frosts this year, but our usual winters from 20 years ago was you'd end up with a good dump of snow which we've had and usually a week of dirty weather too.
"You always plan for different things, I've had to shift my sheep up to higher country. It's a job where you're always aware of it, you just change from week-to-week and sometime day-to-day and do what you can."
Bo Peep's John Fraser, who's family has farmed the region since the 1860s said he had been talking to neighbours who thought it was one of the wettest on record.
"We farmers do whinge a bit and you don't like to chase the rain away, but it looks like we're going to get some more over the weekend," he said.
"That four days last week really topped it off and there's no doubt it's starting to hurt our crops. There are lots of costs and imposts."
The waterlogged paddocks has forced the Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to offer a special workshop for farmers next week, for those who are unsure as to how to cope with the unusual conditions.
GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network zone lead and consultant Cam Nicholson said the workshop will allow a discussion between growers, agronomists and other technical experts about crop recovery tactics and options for re-sowing.
"The workshop will discuss whether growers should persevere with their affected crops or write them off and consider other options," Mr Nicholson said.
"Management of nutrients, weeds and diseases in salvageable crops will also be on the agenda."
The workshop will be held at Derrinallum Community Hall on Thursday, August 22 from 1.30-4.30pm. To register, phone 5441 6176 or email email@example.com