I listened to a very clear and concise podcast yesterday.
Joy McClymont, from Off The Track Training, interviewed Dr Clare Walker from Longreach (also President of the Qld Rural Doctors Association) and Stacey Curcio from Cultivating Wellness, based in Yeppoon.
It was a crystal-clear and factual information session about COVID-19 as it effects our community health – even if we are fortunate enough not to catch the virus.
A major take home message for me was Dr Walker’s cool reasoning that if we get 80% + people to do the right thing and not enable the virus to spread faster than the medical system can cope, this will statistically take 5 months to pass. Now, most of us have never had a 5-month life upheaval or interruption of supply placed in front of us. We take being able to acquire things and stuff when we want to acquire them for granted, even when we live in isolated regions.
So, it prompted me to put pen to paper and raise the question to our farming and grazing clients – what will you need in the next 5 months, say before the first day of September, that being without would cause your business to grind to a dusty halt?
Unfortunately, many of our agricultural inputs are now made offshore. I have no idea what the container handling systems in Australian ports will be like in 5 months’ time but what if all of those Chinese-made agricultural necessities are still sitting in containers at Shanghai or Shenzhen or Guangzhou ports awaiting clearance?
To put a shearing through without enough wool packs is almost impossible.
To sell cattle without an NLIS tag is currently not even legal.
To grow a crop without an input not made in Asia is almost unheard of.
A collapsed bearing in an auger can bring our entire seeding program to a grinding halt.
Therefore, we need to do a stock take.
My suggestion is to;
- Print off your payments by item for the past two seasons and;
- Question the origin of each ESSENTIAL input to your farm.
This may be a chance to get creative and decide how essential these inputs really are or indeed if it’s time to switch to a local manufacturer. Maybe you are considering a new system and this is the catalyst for change or maybe you just have to hunt around and find exactly what you need right now.
If you need some help in making these timely and vital decisions, RCS has remote services you can access. We have a suite of tools and experienced advisors that can give you a hand with anything you may need, so do not hesitate to contact us on 1800 356 004 or via the button below.
And a little preparation may pay huge dividends later. Your car doesn’t need new tyres now but maybe in 5 months’ time it will. If having a set on hand, down the back of your shed, gives you the flexibility to decide which vehicle gets the most highway use – well then, good.
This is not panic buying my friends, rather it is a move away from ‘just-in-time’ rescue systems that we have come to depend upon. There was a time when farms and stations ran a complete store and service workshop, complete outfits of work-gangs and numerous households. Many of us have run these inventories down, which has on one hand been a good thing to keep our supply current and relevant to our needs. On the other, we can find ourselves vulnerable and unprepared to keep our business flowing if we are caught out.
Stacey Curcio is not one to be caught out though, and very succinctly gave a hugely useful list of ways we can bolster our immune system to fend off illness. This, just like having a resilient business, is something we ought to be doing as a daily check on our lives, not just when a health crisis occurs. Therefore, being prepared comes in so many methods, habits, shapes and forms.
But most of all, the good Doctor Walker did emphasise, “Don’t panic!” (Mr. Mainwaring – ‘Dads Army’. If you haven’t shown your millennials this iconic BBC show and you could use a hearty laugh, then you really need to!)
RCS Advisor and Educator