Worried: Brooklyn Farm sharefarmer Bruce McKenzie surveys a mob of unconcerned cows cut off on an island created by the flooded Orara River.
Worried: Brooklyn Farm sharefarmer Bruce McKenzie surveys a mob of unconcerned cows cut off on an island created by the flooded Orara River. Rob Wright

Farmers take flood precautions

COFFS Coast farmers are securing pumps and moving stock off river flats as renewed rainfall sweeps down from Queensland in the wake of that State’s disastrous floods.

In the Upper Orara, dairy farmers Sandy and Ralph Casson yesterday found a mob of 30 cows and three calves on an island formed by rapidly-rising water in the swollen Orara River near Cochranes Pool.

With water more than two metres deep between the cows and higher ground and the main river channel at their back, sharefarmer Bruce McKenzie was waiting anxiously to see whether the water level would drop or if he should take the risk of trying to swim the mob to safety, a task made more challenging by fallen trees and fast-flowing water.

The Cassons think they have already lost an irrigation pump suspended under a floating pontoon, but after recent flood losses, their submersible pumps have been secured inside big concrete pipes in the ground.

Sandy Casson said mastitis and sore feet were other problems besetting the dairy cows while ‘if I have to kill any more ants inside I’m going to open my own anthill.”

At Nana Glen’s Summerland Pecans, Rosalie Nowland said they had not yet replaced the rows of irrigation lost in the last flood, ‘because it has been raining ever since and we haven’t needed it.’

“We have secured the submersible pumps into the bank of the river so hopefully there is no chance to them washing away.” Mrs Nowland said.

At Coramba, Kathy Stuart has already moved her beef cattle on to her hill paddocks for health reasons and is hoping she has not made the move too soon.

“They are too fat anyway – they will have to live on their backs and the leftover baled silage,” Ms Stuart said.

“I’m effing sick of this rain,” she said.

“Even the hills are running with water.”



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