Farmers and the whims of weather

Hail that fell at Sue Mangan’s farm.

Federal farmer Sue Mangan was just one of many whose property was hit by massive hail on the weekend. Sue lost broad beans and wombok during the storms.

Sue says that although hail has caused significant damage to their vegetable crops only a few times before, the threat is always there, and when it does happen the outcome can be one of devastation. ‘What doesn’t get pulverised on the day may well succumb to shock and damage by the end of the week. The result is the same – pick up the hoe and the seedling trays and start planting like crazy to try and reduce the time gap between what might have been, and the next harvest’. Sue says these events are going to become more commonplace and for farmers who grow in open fields, there is a limit to what can be done to mitigate the threat. ‘There’s a time for disbelief, frustration and then grief, but then there’s time for making a fresh start, making a ton of kimchi and planning for future harvests.’

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