How damaging is the cultural perception that Australian farmers can ride through any storm? That is the question being posed by Riverland winegrape and citrus grower Sheridan Alm.
Sheridan has called for a cultural shift to recognise irrigators who are chosing to walk off the land during this irrigation drought.
“It would be best to acknowledge that growers who decide to sell their water are making a very noble decision to exit the industry right now, it should not be seen that you’ve failed and are copping out,” she said.
“The irrigators that decide to exit would be doing their neighbours and the river such a huge favour and they should be on the front page of the newspaper.”
Sheridan has said that irrigators, who can currently access just 2% of their Murray River allocation, need to decide now if they are going to ride out another season and has advised growers to talk to their neighbours and bank managers about their future.
She has also encouraged growers to develop a flexible water budget now, so that they can concentrate fully on just growing their fruit during the season.
Sheridan will offer practical advice to winegrape growers at Some Like It Hot – the wine industry’s premier wine conference for warm climate regions, to be held at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark on November 6.
Registrations for Some Like It Hot will open next week.