By Growcom CEO Stephen Barnard
The wet and windy weather across South East Queensland and Northern NSW has brought some welcome relief to Sunshine and Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley and Granite Belt growing regions that are all still drought declared and short on water.
The weather also serves as a timely reminder that we’re heading into our summer cyclone and severe storm season, and that now is the time to prepare if you haven’t already.
There are just a few simple steps you can take today to make your farm more safe.
The first is a basic clean up, securing loose items as you go that could cause damage if blown around in high winds.
It’s also important to keep fertilizers and chemicals safely stored, make room for farm machinery under cover in case of hail, clean gutters of debris, and remove old branches from trees that are close to buildings and other infrastructure.
As always, keep an eye on the BOM for forecast storms and rain before spraying and applying fertilizer. A heavy downpour later in the day might wash your hard work and money down the drain.
Taken together these steps will ensure growers are ahead of the game for the arrival of our usual summer storms.
Now is also the time to make or review those plans to survive and more easily recover from more significant events, including cyclones and floods.
Having an emergency response plan and an evacuation plan are legal requirements for all workplaces.
You may also consider developing contingency plans, especially for transport, communication and power.
Checking you have the best insurance cover you can afford and making sure you know what is covered is also worth doing annually.
Longer term, if severe weather or natural disaster risks are not already identified and addressed in your business plan, consider doing so when the plan is next reviewed.
This advice and many more valuable resources can be found on the Growcom website at: www.growcom.com.au/services/climate-adaptation-disaster-resilience/