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Dairies impacted by heavy rainfall and flooding

By Jade Chan, Eastausmilk Project Officer
January 23 2022 - 12:00am
Flooding has caused significant logistical issues in the Gympie, Wide Bay and Burnett regions. Picture: Georgia Beddows.

Recovery and repairs are under way for the Gympie, Wide Bay and Burnett regions after being affected by ex-tropical cyclone Seth last week. Floodwaters that impacted the region affected the accessibility of highways, bridges, and creek crossings. This caused significant logistical issues for feed trucks, milk tankers and worker accessibility to farms.

Dairy farms around the region were impacted with varying severity with farm roads washed away, irrigation systems damaged and fences taken down or caught with debris. Flood water also affected some hay and crop producing farmers with paddocks inundated and crops waterlogged. A full damage report is yet to be compiled as assessments and recovery is still under way.

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The impacts of a weather event such as this will continue to be experienced by our farmers well after the flood water recedes with ongoing cell count or mastitis issues caused from the combination of compromised cow health and change in environmental conditions.

Flood waters can also have a long-term impact on the farm through weed seed and nutrient deposits where floodwaters have sat as well as the removal of nutrients from runoff and erosion. This may have an impact on the short- and long-term soil health, influencing soil carbon, calcium, and magnesium ratios and available phosphorous.

More information and resources on long-term flood impacts can be found on Growcom's Agrilearn website under the NDRP: Floods program.

Category B assistance has been activated and is available to flood affected famers in this region, which entitles farmers within the declared disaster areas to fodder freight subsidies and concessional loans to ensure business continuity.

Grants jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland governments have also been made available, with up to $50,000 for primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit to assist with the repairs and recovery efforts from the floods.

For more information about financial assistance, funding eligibility or to update us on flood damage contact eastAUSmilk.

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