The past five months have certainly been a challenge within the farming base due to the unprecedented weather conditions. Looking back – and for the second year running – the heavy rains started way back in October and continued right through until February, adding up to some of the toughest growing conditions we’ve ever experienced.
Not only this, but we had to deal with the housing order instigated across the country due to the heavy avian influenza infections within the area. Then there were some huge problems with this appalling weather, flooding being one of the biggest challenges we’ve seen! We witnessed flooding on fields this year where we have never seen water settle before, often leaving the land so wet the sheds could not be pulled. In turn this put exceptional pressure on the growing space available at the time. In some cases this water is still not soaking away due to the total saturation of the ground. When the rains finally stopped just into February, this was only to be followed by the Arctic cold snap! This just compounded the issues out on the farms further.
Our farmers really did have some exceptionally challenging issues with frozen water pipes and treacherous conditions getting into work due to the drifting snow and strong wind. The way they coped is testament to our farmers that all got to work and managed to keep the farming base running with very little disruption!
On reflection the past five months really have been a challenge to the agricultural department. Enormous credit and thanks to all our team members out on the farms who on a day-to-day basis had to deal with some of the poorest weather conditions I can ever remember and still kept delivering throughout.