HELPING HAND: Llewellyn Motors' Dayne Matthews and Matthew Taylor-Farrington with Mt Tarampa farmers Tom Watson-Brown and Tony and Peter Mula. Picture: Dominic Elsome
HELPING HAND: Llewellyn Motors' Dayne Matthews and Matthew Taylor-Farrington with Mt Tarampa farmers Tom Watson-Brown and Tony and Peter Mula. Picture: Dominic Elsome

How this farmer’s helping his peers fight the drought

WITH a hay run earlier this month and another set for early December, Llewellyn Motors Ipswich is committed to donating between $25,000 and $30,000 in hay to nominated farmers in need across the region.

Tony Mula, who runs Medina Pastural at Mt Tarampa with his son Peter, sold more than 650 small square hay bales to Llewellyn Motors for this month’s hay run – about 750—800 bales of hay were delivered in total.

Mr Mula said the region was “in dire straits”, and he had originally nominated his neighbour for a hay run donation.

“There were 25 farmers who all received hay in the first batch,” he said.

“We loaded the truck up and they went and delivered the hay to about six farmers around Mt Marrow, Glamorgan Vale and Fernvale, and the others came and picked it up from here.”

Mr Mula said he usually grew grain for the Medina Pastural piggery, but this year he had realised there wasn’t enough rain to do so.

“So we decided to grow the hay instead and we’ve got a fair bit of country so we had a fair few acres in,” he said.

“We’ve always grown hay but we’ve always had it for our own consumption.”

Mt Tarampa farmers Tom Watson-Brown and Tony and Peter Mula. Picture: Dominic Elsome
Mt Tarampa farmers Tom Watson-Brown and Tony and Peter Mula. Picture: Dominic Elsome

He said a vacuum had been created in the market for pork due to African swine fever killing more than a quarter of the world’s population of pigs.

“So we’re making more money now and can afford the higher grain price,” he said.

“We’re doing it tough here but we’re a bit luckier than most because with the pigs we’ve got the cash flow all the time.

“But there’s a lot of people out there — like our neighbours — who are running out of water and feed. There’s just nothing around.”

Mr Mula has lived in the area for 20 years, and has never seen the bottom of his dams in that time.

“But I’m seeing them now. That’s how bad it is, and lots of our neighbours have run out of water,” he said.

The forecast, he said, wasn’t looking positive for the next couple of months, but he was hoping for rain by the end of January or early February.

Llewellyn Motors Ipswich marketing manager Matthew Taylor-Farrington said many of their staff had been personally affected by the drought and hay shortages.

“In September we had some staff who were struggling to feed their livestock, and as a team we wanted to do something,” Mr Taylor-Farrington said.

“Also, the farming community has supported us over the past 25 years, so we felt we wanted to give back and help those farmers who have helped us.”

Mr Taylor-Farrington said the second hay run would most likely take place in the first week of December, with all deliveries to be finalised before Christmas and covering areas including Gatton, Mt Tarampa, and surrounds.

“There have been properties nominated everywhere,” he said.