22 September 2020

New website to help farmers find workers ahead of bumper season

| Hannah Sparks
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Farmer in tractor on farm.

Farmers in southeast NSW are anticipating one of the biggest harvests in years. Photo: Spencer Pugh.

The NSW Government has launched a new website to connect farmers to workers and contractors ahead of this year’s anticipated bumper season.

The Help Harvest NSW website comprises part of the government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

Anyone looking for work can also use the website to find employment in agriculture and access short courses if they need to upskill.

READ ALSO Farmers struggle to secure contractors for ‘bumper’ harvest

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) estimates the 2020-2021 winter crop production in NSW will rise to 14.8 million tons, almost double the 10-year average to 2019-2020, and the largest since 2016-2017.

Local agronomist Andrew Daley said the biggest worry is finding enough trucks and headers to get the crop off quickly.

“It’s going to be hard to do with the amount of grain there will be this year,” he said.

While southeast NSW doesn’t rely on harvest contractors from Victoria as much as northern NSW does, the region lost many of its regular Queensland harvesters during the drought, said Mr Daley.

They were replaced by local contractors, but according to Mr Daley, there still might not be the numbers needed to harvest the predicted bumper crop.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said farmers in her electorate are preparing for a large harvest and she is encouraging people who are out of work due to COVID-19 to consider a job in agriculture.

“We know COVID-19 has presented all sorts of challenges to farmers in the Goulburn electorate and across NSW, and we know it has put many people out of work,” said Ms Tuckerman.

“My message to anyone looking for jobs is this: consider agriculture. The work is tough but rewarding. Take a look at Help Harvest NSW and see what job opportunities are around the corner.”

Visit the Help Harvest NSW website here.

Original Article published by Hannah Sparks on About Regional.

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