The annoying thing is everything was looking so good. After four years of
drought that killed vines, ruined crops and closed farms, the rains came.
Then the rains didn't stop.
Life on the land has always been subject to the elements. Recent drought,
frosts, fires, and locusts have all impacted on the land, and now we have
flooding, and that's just in Victoria. Queenslanders have had cyclones to
deal with, too.
To complement the battle with wildlife and climate changes there is also
disease. Many vineyards have reported downy mildew ravaging vines in the
humidity, and this can decimate crops as much as drought. My family's small
vineyard has been spared damage from mildew - touch wood - though we have
not managed to escape the flooding in the area.
Our small block of land backs onto Victoria's Lodden River, with an
eight-meter bank separating the river from our land. Those eight meters
saved us whereas the lower lying township was flooded, some residences
washed away. Of arguably greater concern are the livelihoods lost by many
growers and graziers. Their crops ruined, up-turned or spoiled by the
swollen rivers and then, when the water receded, the land left covered by