Floods, bogs and mud, mud, mud

Flood 22 July

Partial view of the flood from the house this morning

The rain came…again. Yesterday, Yarram airport received 48.5mm and today, all the roads to town are closed, a third of the farm is cut off with at least another four paddocks underwater and the car is still sitting bogged in the driveway. Thankfully, the house is nice and high, so no sand bags needed (but thanks for the offer, Julie and Doug)!

Most of this is a temporary inconvenience. The good news is that the local rivers are short and empty into the sea quickly, so the roads should be open again in the next day or so. More important is the longer lasting issue of saturated pastures and muddy tracks.

Saturated pastures (they were already saturated before this jolly east coast low pressure system decided to pay us a visit) are very vulnerable. The damage done now by cows’ hooves will cause compaction of the soil so that, come summer, water will run off rather than soak in and roots will find it harder to penetrate the soil, exposing them to heat and denying them sub-surface moisture. If you’re a gardener, you’ll understand!

Muddy pastures and tracks are also a perfect recipe for lameness and mastitis, both painful conditions that are difficult and expensive to treat.

Of course, sopping wet soil is also no good for growing grass, which means we must step up our imported feed. This means more cost, long days and heavy tractors on fragile pastures.

Those weather gods need an urgent performance review so they can refocus on their KPIs!

3 Comments

Filed under Animal Health and Welfare, Climate, Cows, Farm, Pastures

3 responses to “Floods, bogs and mud, mud, mud

  1. know how you feel Had 16 inches here in 48 hours – we are lucky in that being on the side of very steep hill and great soil means water get away ver quickly. on the negative makes the hills very slippery often means a ski slope scenario for the cows and the consequences of cows who dont have the benefit of skis

    Like

  2. Pingback: Santa rides a grader | The Milk Maid Marian

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