Farming after floods

     
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To have your farm inundated with flood water for eight weeks would leave even the most optimistic person questioning what they would find, but for Pat and Michelle Quinn’s and their Macorna dairy farm, the news is all good.

Seven months on Pat reckons his farm has never looked better.

“There is no doubt the ground is fresher and healthier and with the catchments full and access to carry over water, this season is looking good.”

“The flood was just nature taking its course after 13 years of drought,” Pat said.

The flood really couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Quinns. They were in the process of modernising their farm under the Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Program and the majority of the work was just simply washed away.

“One of our first priorities was to get the pipeline back on track before the start of the irrigation season and with a lot of support we got there- the pipe is now in and working fantastically.”

The farm is fully recovered, aside from a few small areas to still tidy up and while the business has taken a financial hit through the loss of milk income, Pat is confident in the future.

“The flood was a hell of nasty experience for us and I wasn’t happy with the way things were managed but I can’t fault the recovery process, it was phenomenal. Government departments from the DPI to the shire, state and federal funding, on-going support services, family and friends have all helped in our recovery process.”

The Quinn’s now have a flood strategy in place which is probably not that much different to the way they handled things this time.

“Our main priority was always the stock and protecting their feed. You can replace a house but you can’t replace a herd. We would do things exactly the same but I would take more of an interest in data that is out there in particular feedback on water levels. Hopefully this is the biggest event of this type we will ever experience in our life time.”

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