Free help on hand for farmers to help manage dry times
Hundreds of farmers across the Goulburn-Murray Water area can benefit from a free and independent service to help them cope with the current, and future, dry conditions.
The Plan2Farm program helps farmers and their families make decisions about all aspects of their enterprise, including drought resilience and preparedness.
North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Project Manager Shari Rankin said for a lot of farmers across the region, planning has never been more important.
“The great thing about Plan2Farm is that it brings indpendent experts and advisors to your kitchen table, for free,” she said.
“Water prices are high and fodder is hard to come by, and indications are it will remain that way for a while. Plan2Farm can provide you with advice now, to help you and your family get through the current conditions, and get ready for the next tough period as well.
“It considers all aspects of your farming business, so it’s flexible enough to cope with any factors, either in the short term or the long term.”
Ms Rankin said a key to the project was that it was focussed on the health of the whole farm business.
“At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. We will meet with you, work out exactly what you need and get the experts to come to you as soon as possible,” she said.
“We focus on making sure you get the advice you need to come up with a plan for your business, without delay and without being drowned in paperwork.”
And acting quickly can make a big difference, as Tyntynder farmers Kevin and Jeanette Burge know well.
The dairy farmers have not just planned for their future, but they have begun acting on it already.
“Since we started Plan2Farm we have added Aussie Reds to cattle mix, closely monitored cow condition at calving, increased our herd by 30 cows, purchased a block we were leasing and secured a lease on additional block,” Kevin said.
“We have also hooked up a computer monitor in the dairy, registered for Buliding Better Regions Succession Planning, and spoken with the North Central CMA about revegetation”.
“We have learnt it is important to set goals and them tick them off. Even if you have had a bad day, tomorrow is a new day and you start again on your list. We’re very satisfied with what it has enabled us to do on our farm and in our business.”