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27 January 2021
BY DYLAN DE JONG
A devastating fire that ripped through South Australian farmland prompted Wimmera and Lime Coast farmers to donate vital fodder to communities in need.
Wimmera farmers joined Mount Gambier Hay Runners in the immediate aftermath of fires that tore through Lucindale and Avenue Range to deliver more than 3000 bales of hay earlier this month.
The blaze ripped through more than 15,000 hectares, killing livestock and destroying buildings.
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After catching word of a potential run, Green Lake grain farmer Daniel Mibus immediately stepped into action and joined a convoy of 12 trucks from the Wimmera to contribute to the cause.
Mr Mibus said the empathy he felt for farmers who lost livestock and farmland compelled him to join the fleet.
“We only had a few days to organise this run – the fire burned through on the Monday and by Saturday we were running trucks over with hay,” he said.
“The Mount Gambier Hay Run guys and Lucindale Lions Club did a fantastic job helping us get the hay off and we were in and out fairly quick.”
Mr Mibus said he was ‘devastated’ when he saw the impacts the fire had on the farmland.
“There was quite a lot of livestock lost and some farmers over there lost 100 percent of their grazing pastures, so they had nothing to feed their stock,” he said.
“It was quite emotional because there were kids sitting on the outskirts of town holding up signs saying ‘thank you’.
“It was really rewarding to be able to help these people out.”
In a normal year, Mr Mibus would be returning home to the Wimmera after a big journey up north for the Australia Day Burrumbuttock Hay Run – an event where farmers deliver fodder to farmers in drought-stricken areas across the country.
Last year 40 trucks from across western Victoria and South Australia transported thousands of bales of hay to farmers in drought- affected Armidale in New South Wales.
Mr Mibus said this would be the first time in 15 years the hay run was cancelled.
Event organisers cancelled the run earlier this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic and complications around cross-border travel.
“It’s been running for a fair while and there’s been a lot of trips. This is the first year in a while this couldn’t go ahead,” Mr Mibus said.
“You might see these guys who go on the hay run once or twice a year, but you always have a good trip doing it and getting the hay to the farmers on the other end is the icing on cake for us.”
Mr Mibus said he would continue to support the event if it went ahead next year.
“Unless it happens to you, you would never know what it feels like to be affected by drought or fire,” he said.
“I don’t know how I would react in the situation, because I haven’t been in it.
“But while we can, we’ll help them out because we never know when that might happen to us.”
The entire January 27, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire January 27, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!