Seeds sown for future
PERHAPS the forgotten people in all of the devastation of the January floods were farmers in the region.
The words of Linton Brimblecombe, of Moira Farming at Forest Hill, echo for all farmers in the Lockyer Valley when he sums up, in his words, how the major industry for the valley is faring one year on...
The 2011 flood affected all farms across the valley in one way or another.
As soon as the water receded, the clean up commenced. This happened on the farms as well.
For most farmers, the first and most important need was to generate income in order to stay in business.
The only way to do this was to get the farm back into production.
Within two weeks of the water receding, there were seeds being planted.
This was all well and good, however the farming community had to deal with lost income from the floods, while working to get their farms, houses and sheds back into some workable order.
The season actually turned quite dry, which was good for working the soil, but made life on the land very busy with irrigation in full swing throughout winter.
I guess for most farmers, the effects of the flood have been raring their ugly head throughout the year.
This includes areas of land which have been hard to work, or even unable to be farmed at all in many instances.
Not to mention the waiting game for contractors to come and assist in getting the farm back into shape being in such demand.
The year for the farmer has also had other mixed blessings and challenges.
These include for the first time in many years, a full or near full profile of underground water, obviously allowing farmers who have previously had limited supplies of water to be back into production.
Of course this has had the effect of an easing on the prices received for most vegetable lines, causing many farming businesses to further reflect on the best way to produce an article with the lowest input costs possible.
The other blow to the farming community in 2011 was the loss of beetroot production from our valley.
This will certainly affect a large number of farming and farm supply businesses.
Overall for the man and woman on the land, the year has had some challenges.
Not wanting to wish away time, we certainly hope that this year has a few less challenges.
The farming community is generally an optimistic group, and we look forward to a strong future.