With the true extent of damage caused by widespread flooding in NSW and Victoria now becoming apparent as waters recede in many areas, farm organisations in both states are alerting affected farmers to a range of assistance measured designed to help them get back on their feet.
NSW Farmers has established a Fodder/Agistment Register that aims to connect farmers affected by the floods to those who can help out and provide feed for livestock.
The register can be found on the Association’s website – www.nswfarmers.org.au.
Farmers can list if they have fodder or agistment available as a donation or for sale. The details will be recorded and those needing fodder can then look up the register.
The association is also working on a Volunteer Bank, where people can volunteer their services to help repair damaged farms. Details are also available on the NSW Farmers website.
“We have already been contacted by many people living in and around Sydney who have seen the floods on their TV every night and want to do something to help,” NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said.
She said more damage is yet to come as floodwaters continue to move downstream.
Farmers around the Hay area in Western NSW will see flooding in late March, with Balranald expected to see water arrive in early April.
“We are humbled by those calls we have already received to help however it will take a long time for farmers to recover from these floods and ongoing support will be much appreciated,” Fiona Simson said.
Meanwhile the Victorian Farmers Federation has welcomed Victorian and Federal Governments assistance for flood-affected farmers in that state.
Flood-affected primary producers in Shepparton and Moira can now access up to $25,000 for clean-up and recovery grants while farmers in 14 flood-affected local government areas will have access to low-interest concessional loans of up to $200,000.
“These grants are crucial in helping farmers recover from the floods and begin to rebuild their businesses,” VFF President Andrew Broad said.
“The State and Federal Governments should be proud of their quick response to yet another round of flooding experienced by Victorian farmers.”
Flood affected farmers can use the grants to replace fencing, regenerate inundated pastures, repair laneways and culverts and replace or restore damaged equipment. Primary producers can check the Rural
Finance website to see if they qualify for a $25,000 grant or low-interest loan.
Mr Broad said that the VFF was continuing to coordinate fodder donations around the Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria.
“We’ve had a good response so far. Farmers who have contacted us in need of fodder have had it delivered.
“At the moment we are still only sourcing donations of quality fodder from farmers close to flood affected areas to avoid the spread of weeds and to provide stressed livestock with much-needed nutrients,” Mr Broad said.
Mr Broad said people who wanted to donate fodder must contact the VFF before organising delivery to ensure that they will be reimbursed.
Farmers in need of fodder or farmers close to flood affected areas who can donate fodder can contact the VFF on 1300 882 833 or visit the VFF website www.vff.org.au for further information.
For information about Government grants and low-interest concessional loans, farmers can visit the Rural Finance website: www.ruralfinance.com.au