Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Fourth Flood in Four Months

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Fourth Flood in Four Months

Article excerpt

Byline: Belinda Scott

IT is inconceivable that in winter it continues to rain and rain on the North Coast.

It's just kept going with three major floods with intermittent 'showers' in between. These have made a bog out of paddocks and been very harmful to pastures. And now more rain up to 400mm brings the fourth flood in four months.

Grazing management is very difficult in these circumstances as the fresh paddocks cattle are put into change from green grass to black sloppy mud overnight.

Concentrating cattle on smaller areas and feeding them means that paddocks soon become boggy and pastures are ruined until next spring.

Spreading cattle out means feed cuts out more quickly and when hand-feeding silage or hay becomes necessary, areas around feeding racks and troughs become slushy bogs and have to be changed at each feeding.

Elevated rocky areas normally useless for good feed in average years are a godsend in wet years like this. Cattle gravitate to them to have a spell and they make good feeding sites. This time even they have become sodden.

I cannot remember a similar continuously very wet winter that we are having now.

It's not only in the Coffs Harbour area but all up and down the North Coast.

Bellingen markets had to be put off for the first time because the ground was too sodden to put up the tents. Sporting events right up and down the coast were postponed for the same reason.

How would you like to milk cows twice a day in this weather? When you next pull out the milk from the fridge, think about the dairy farmers.

* Talking to a livestock carrier the other day made me wonder who would want to be one.

They are facing new challenges from regulations affecting their profitability. The latest one is waste spill from the trucks.

It is the norm for a carrier to take two or three or more loads of cattle to the sale-yards the day before the sale. …

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