The Weekly Advertiser

Wimmera region steels itself

By DEAN LAWSON

Wimmera development leaders are confident that hard-hit farming communities across the region have the management experience and resilience to strongly push through a disastrous cropping season.

Wimmera Development Association executive director Jo Bourke said 13 years of drought had galvanised the sector and Wimmera-Mallee farmers had sharpened their reputation as the best broadacre crop managers in the world.

She said experience meant that regional farmers and support networks had never been better prepared for poor years and many had already swung plans into action.

“We all have an enormous amount of faith in the resilience and management ability of our farmers. There were a lot of lessons learnt during the millennium drought, importantly how to look after each other and business debt and to plan for worst-case scenarios,” she said.

Mrs Bourke made her comments in response to reports of wholesale crop failures or meagre harvest returns across the region due to a lack of late winter and spring rain and, in some areas, frost damage.

She agreed that there was no way of sugar-coating regional farming circumstances. But she was quick to add that there was broad understanding across the sector that it potentially faced a dryer future.

“I know it means little for farmers facing a tough year in the short term, but there is an enormous amount of research going into crop development and land management and sustainability in response to dryer conditions,” she said.

“For example, we’re seeing farmers explore a diversity of crops to help spread the risk and having plans in place to quickly make the most of what they can salvage when things don’t go to plan and to immediately look to the following season.

 

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=23194

Posted on Oct 29 2014

Posted by on Oct 29 2014. Filed under Agriculture, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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