Gippsland Portal

Department of Primary Industries:
Fire Recovery Information Sessions

More than 60 farmers from across East Gippsland attended recent information sessions to discuss farm recovery after the fires.

By Department of Primary Industries - 13th March 2003 - Back to News

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The workshops were held in the Omeo, Benambra and Wulgulmerang districts and were organised by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF).


Highlights of the workshops included the experience of Seymour farmer, Richard Wallis, whose property was largely destroyed by fires in 1990.  Mr Wallis stressed the importance of working out short and long-term budgets, which enabled him to organise finance for a resowing and fertiliser program, and for fencing.


Well known local agronomist Leo Hamilton, emphasised estimating the total amount of fodder needed to carry stock through winter, especially as burnt pasture is likely to grow at half the rate of unburnt pasture. He demonstrated how this could be done and emphasised it was important to look at the potential cost of feeding. Mr Hamilton explained that if not badly burnt, pastures could be left to recover or may need harrowing. For more badly burnt areas, it may need sod seeding with a crop, short-term ryegrass or permanent pasture.


Rural Counsellor, Bryan McPhan illustrated a method of measuring the financial implications of options ranging from destocking to retaining and feeding animals through the winter.  Mr McPhan also said that it was important to look at the cash flow implications of any changes made. The Rural Counselling service can assist producers to do this.


Other presenters included Tim Harrington from Ridley AgriProducts, who outlined how to introduce stock to pellets, without causing grain poisoning.


Speaker notes from these workshops are available from the DPI Calvert Street office in Bairnsdale, 5152 0600.


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