SPARE a thought for our region’s farmers this weekend.
By the time the Wimmera Mail-Times arrives on newsstands on Friday morning, the region was forecast to receive upwards of 60 millimetres of rain.
Flood and severe weather warnings have been issued right across the state as the Bureau of Meteorology expects the entire average December rain for Victoria to fall across a two-day period.
In some places – particularly north-east Victoria – that could reach 300mm by Saturday.
"This is a very, very big weather event, we are in uncharted territory," senior meteorologist Scott Williams told reporters on Wednesday.
That’s a very eerie statement from someone with his level of experience and knowledge of the field.
Farmers across the Wimmera have been racing against the clock to harvest as much crop as possible ahead of the rain.
Some were lucky to begin and finish their harvest early. But others could lose millions of tonnes of unharvested crops as the deluge arrives.
It comes during a season when farmers battled mice and a dry winter followed by a freak frost and last weekend, in some areas, hail the size of golf balls.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke, of Murra Warra, said the forecast rain had been described as a “one-in-30-year event” while Banyena farmer Chris Drum has used the word “Armageddon”.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said this rain would bring with it a “heartbreaking blow” to farmers across the region.
It’s a reality of their industry that farmers can do everything right, within their power, throughout the year – only to have elements they can’t control have the final say on what is often that year’s work.
It’s also a reality of our region that our success as a community is largely driven by the success of the agriculture sector.
Now, more than ever, reach out to your friends, your family and your neighbours.
A simple act can make a big difference during challenging times.
Keep your friends, your family and your neighbours in your thoughts in the days, weeks and months ahead.
The impacts of this rain won’t be truly assessed for some time – and that impact will be felt for a long time to come.
Jessica Grimble, editor