Nutrien Ag Solutions Casino Branch Manager Brett Alvos reports that they’re still waiting to see the full impact; however, he can see the agricultural industry will be hit hard and there still could be more to come.
“This isn’t as simple as rebuilding what we’ve lost. The region will feel the impact for years to come.”
“85% of the soya bean crops have been wiped out, a lot of corn crops in the region are completely gone, a lot of the first-year sugar cane is dead along the lower river, and the second-year cane harvest could yield as low as half. While tea tree is looking okay, oil production will also be down.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 475,000 cattle have been lost to the floods. There is also an exodus of stock from the regions, with farmers choosing to sell what stock they have left because of a lack of feed and infrastructure to care for the animals.
The region has already experienced over 1700ml of rain since the beginning of the year, and every bit of additional rain contributes to the growing problems for those trying to recover.
“Dairy is struggling to get their winter crops in with it being too wet. Having to fly on their ryegrass means another cost is added to the mounting expenses for farmers.”
While the economic impact is quickly adding up, so is the positive community spirit with them showing tenacity and camaraderie.
Mr Alvos reports, “Community support is paramount in times like this. During the droughts, our local region sent hay out to the affected areas, and we’re seeing that support come back to us now, with hay coming in from regions we’ve previously helped.”
Nutrien Ag Solutions North East Regional Manager Robert Payne said the team are doing all they can to support their local farming clients.
“Our staff are helping with hay, and the local stock agents are working at getting cattle rounded up, scanned and back to their owners. The commitment from the community to help each other is something they should be very proud of.”
“Like many stores in the region, our Grafton store was flooded. The team demonstrated their commitment to the growers, continuing to take calls, and organise merchandise, all while cleaning up. The resilience of the people and the region is second to none and we’ve witnessed that first hand.”
Mr Payne was proud to present Rural Aid with a $50,000 donation on behalf of Nutrien last week. Rural Aid will use the funds for counsellors to provide mental well-being support, to coordinate the distribution of fodder and drinking water to farming families, as well as dispatch pre-paid Visa cards in both states.
“Nutrien Ag Solutions is focused on supporting our growers. This donation is just one way we can do that," Mr Payne concluded.