The dry weather could bring the season to an end in East Gippsland for some vegetable growers

With a large part of Australia experiencing drought, there is no doubt that water security is one of the major issues facing East Gippsland farmers.

This week FreshPlaza is visiting vegetable growers in Gippsland, and learning the normally busy summer season could be coming to an end for some, despite having some produce still in the ground. Access to the local river has been stopped due to low levels, and some growers cannot afford other sources of water - mainly bores - or storage. So unless rain comes in a matter of days, many have reported that they will not be able to farm the rest of the crops.

Rosengal Group is a family run business with farms in Victoria and Queensland. Dom Galati is the Victorian Farm Manager, which supplies some big city markets with beans, sweet corn and baby broccoli - but yields are down this year due to the dry. All he can do is pray for rain to come - and soon.

Mr Galati is also very passionate about the industry, and educating consumers about the importance of fresh fruit and vegetable consumption. The company handpicks its produce and puts a strong emphasis on quality over quantity.

Kim Martin is another farmer who says he only has enough water stored to last the next two weeks. He manages Frais Farms, which produce salad and lettuce varieties for major supermarkets - some via the local fresh cut factory - Vegco.

It is the company's first season producing organic produce, and while he says it was not perfect, he is confident plenty of lessons were learnt for it to become successful in the future.


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