Farmers will emerge stronger from latest setback

Farmers will emerge stronger from latest setback

Opinion
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Farmers are reflecting on yet another setback

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Floodwaters flowing over prime pasture and cropping land.

Floodwaters flowing over prime pasture and cropping land.

As floodwaters in parts of the state recede, farmers are reflecting on yet another setback after drought, bushfires and a mouse plague, which all challenged the sector over recent years. But farmers will get over this hurdle like they have all others, and the resilience of regional communities will again be on show as they emerge from this adversity.

For some, the huge potential of this year's harvest has been dashed by the floodwaters. While the final impact on state's total output is expected to be hit, NSW will still be a key contributor to this year's record breaking 58.4 million tonne winter crops. Still, the individual impact on farmers will inevitably feel significant.

It's not just winter crops that have been hurt by the flooding. Livestock industries are also managing the toll of flooded paddocks and blocked or damaged roads, while regional communities are feeling the flow-on effects of the latest events.

With the transport of produce, especially perishable produce, every second counts. Blocked roads are making this more challenging - we have heard reports of thousands of litres of milk being dumped because of road access constraints. It is imperative that the most updated information on road closures is available.

In the meantime, something we can all do to help is to report exactly where the damage is, and the extent of it, so federal, state and local governments can start to prioritise the recovery efforts.

While we might be powerless to stop the floodwaters, action can be taken to minimise the impact. Damage to local roads must be addressed as a priority, and councils must be resourced to fix them. The importance of this task cannot be downgraded as time elapses.

Ultimately, it is the people of regional NSW who will drive the recovery from this latest setback. Their CV indicates they will, and we're confident they will emerge even stronger.

  • James Jackson, NSW Farmers president

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