Farmers urged to look out for each other due to the mixed fortunes of 2018

Fiona Marshall
Fiona Marshall

LEADERS in the grain sector are calling on farmers to look out for each other this season due to the mixed fortunes of harvest.

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Southern Regional Panel, member Fiona Marshall said safety and well being – physical and mental – should be the number one priority at harvest. “Safety is the most important thing heading into and throughout harvest,” she said. 

You have to look after each other, take care of yourself and maintain conversations,” said the southern Riverina grain producer.

Fiona Marshall

“You have to look after each other, take care of yourself and maintain conversations,” said Mrs Marshall, who farms in the southern Riverina.

She said the need to support others had been heightened this year following severe weather events.

“The late frosts have not been widespread across entire regions,” she said.

“And that is what makes this situation so incredibly difficult, unlike a drought or a flood when so many farmers would be going through the same thing at the same time and recognition of their plight is extensive, these frost events are in isolation and growers are left to deal with the fall-out,” she said.

“When your neighbours are celebrating a bumper harvest but your crops have been wiped out by frost, it is a devastating position for a grower to be in.”

Mrs Marshall, who has been farming with her husband Craig for 21 years, said it was critical that growers affected by frost and others hit by recent damaging weather events seek support and maintain communication with family, friends and others in the community. 

“After already speaking with a number of growers, impacted by frost, it is essential to keep the conversation channels open,” she said. 

Meanwhile, the heavy rain in southern NSW has also impacted crops during the crucial harvest period. 

According to the Bureau of Meteorology as much as 115mm fell at Booligal, 107mm at Tumut, and 104mm at Gundagai.