It’s not a good sign when the local weather forecaster gets a spot on ABC Radio’s National news. Our forecast is so shocking that, yes, it made headlines today.
A massive chunk of Victoria is about to go underwater and, with it, a massive chunk of our farm. We’ve had an inch of rain in the last two hours and the prediction is for between 51 and 102mm tomorrow, followed by another 20 or 30mm over another couple of days.
I’m thankful for the undulations at the southern end of the farm. The cows will at least be safe.
I’m also thankful for the Bureau of Meteorology’s timely warnings. It gave us time to:
- Set up safer paddocks for the cows
- Ask Scott, the grain merchant, to deliver more feed before we get flooded in
- Remove the power units from the electric fences on the river flats
- Bring all the eight new calves born during the last 48 hours into the warmth of the poddy shed
- Stock up at the supermarket
- Pile the verandah high with dry kindling and wood to keep the kids warm
As the flood sets in, we’ll be:
- Offering extra TLC for newborns and freshly-calved cows
- Feeding out more of our precious and rapidly dwindling stock of hay while hitting the phones looking for more ridiculously scarce fodder
- Keeping an even keener eye out for mastitis
- Walking the cows extra gently to the dairy to reduce the risk of lameness
- Hoping like hell that the damage to the fences and tracks isn’t too bad
- Monitoring the condition of paddocks to minimise pugging (mud, mud, mud)
- Stocking the dairy snack bar with a bottomless supply of soup and raisin bread
It’s often said that good farmers only worry about what they can control. I’ll do my best!