A purple blister on the weather map is coming to get us

Holy cow

Holy cow

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!

13 thoughts on “A purple blister on the weather map is coming to get us

  1. Hi Marian. This is very timely. Flood preparedness is exactly what a team of farmers & service providers have been talking about in a planning workshop for the last two days up here in NNSW. So glad you are one of the proactive people who have it all down pat! Keep dry(ish) and safe.

      • Check the generator. Have that checklist of yours written up somewhere in case you are not at home (because you are out doing the school pick-up and all those other busy Mum things)! Have checklists laminated so you can take them outside without ruining them. I bet you’ve already done all 3 🙂

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  3. It never ceases to amaze me how little rain seems to affect you southerners…….. 50 to 100mm in one day? REALLY?

    Here on the Sunshine Coast, we’ve experienced 300mm in two hours. TWICE! Now THAT’s rain……….. and 600mm in 24 hours has occured more than once here. Of course we get floods then, but it seems to run off faster than your flooding. Go figure…..

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