The shock waves rip­ple out

Pres­sure for fod­der builds as pas­tures re­main in­un­dated

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL WEEKLY - Digby Hil­dreth

THE main chal­lenge fac­ing farm­ers now was their abil­ity to get fod­der crops into pas­ture, said the CEO of NSW Farm­ers, Matt Brand.

Dairy had taken a hit, with the loss of 50,000 litres of milk, but ev­ery­thing was run­ning smoothly once again, Mr Brand said.

“How­ever, there has been large amounts of silage washed away and wa­ter dam­age means that much of the win­ter feed is only good for com­post.

“Hope­fully mother na­ture will co-op­er­ate and the waters will sub­side enough to get the win­ter pas­tures planted.”

One farm along the Kyo­gle Road “copped a real flog­ging”, said one ob­server, with a heap of silage bales pushed up onto the rail­way line.

So far there didn’t ap­pear to have been sub­stan­tial stock losses, Mr Brand said, and farm­ers re­ported “the usual losses” – fences, stock­yards, roads.

“There’s a lot of mud still on the pas­tures,” Kyo­gle res­i­dent Peter Brown said.

“Farm­ers re­ally need half an inch of rain to clean it so the stock have some­thing to eat.”

Ru­ral stores re­ported big sales of rye grass seed, with farm­ers stock­ing up for when they are able to get to their pas­tures.

The pres­sure on farm­ers will in­crease as win­ter comes on and the trop­i­cal pas­tures cease to grow.

One farmer said he ex­pected to see quite a lot of hay traded in the com­ing months.

And he said, with the high prices in the cat­tle in­dus­try, any­one who was in a re­ally bad way who had to sell cat­tle was in a pretty good po­si­tion.

The Har­netts, dairy farm­ers Rob and Sue in Bur­ring­bar, said they “got through rea­son­ably well”, al­though they lost sev­eral kilo­me­tres of elec­tric fenc­ing all along the creek flats.

“A few bales of silage had a bit of wa­ter around it but we won’t re­ally know the dam­age un­til we open them up,” he said. “We were able to get dry cows out onto the other side of the farm be­fore the floods hit,” he said, but there were some in the area who lost some stock be­cause “it hap­pened so quickly”.

The Har­netts sourced a gen­er­a­tor from By­ron Bay and were able to milk late on the Fri­day evening.

“The cows went for 26 hours with­out milk­ing, which we could man­age.

“But any longer than that would cause prob­lems such as mas­ti­tis.”

It was just lucky no one in the vil­lage lost their lives, Rob said, “but some peo­ple can’t re­turn to their homes, they’re so dev­as­tated”.

PHOTO: JARRARD POT­TER

WRONG WAY: A ute sinks in flood waters near Grafton.

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