21 December 2022

Festive season fails to dampen farmers' creative spirits

| Edwina Mason
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Christmas decorations on farm

Despite a year of challenges, the region’s farmers have managed to find time to spread the Christmas spirit through various competitions. Photo: Elders Adelong.

If you were wondering how the farmers were doing right now, you only have to travel to Murringo in the NSW Hilltops region or over to Adelong, just off the Hume Highway in the Snowy Valleys, to see what they’re up to.

For the most part, they’re working around the clock to haul in the harvest that – so far – given the adverse weather and major flooding, has seen a more sluggish pace to silo traffic.

But as heavy machinery bogging and Christmas haystacks proliferate on social media, it is perhaps the surest sign what the skies have thrown their way has failed in dampening their spirit.

GrainCorp recorded its biggest day of receivals for the season on Sunday, 18 December, with more than 300,000 tonnes of grain delivered.

Winter crop harvest activity is now mostly complete in Queensland, slowing around northern NSW, while clearer and drier conditions have seen strong harvest activity continue in the Young, Junee, Temora and Wyalong regions in southern NSW.

There’s little doubt the NSW and Victorian harvest will continue into January 2023 but there has been no doubt that when given a moment to stop, the farmers’ tractors are turning to all things festive.

Down Adelong way, the good people at Elders have gone so far as to sponsor a Christmas sculpture competition that results in an astonishing array of brightly lit, colourful, cheery-as-Santa Claus haybale creations.

Three sections – the Children’s Choice, Most Unique and Grand Champion – are all vying for prizes, with entries now numbering 22.

Here’s a small selection of entries, but we encourage anyone with the time and will to head out to Adelong to have a look. The entries can also be accessed via the Elders Adelong Facebook page.

Each year around Young, small pockets of rural residents give in to what could be a contagion effect in that once one farmer builds a shrine to Christmas, the neighbours go one better until what results is a Christmas lights spectacular adorning the country roads.

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The Moppity Road is renowned for it, as is the Temora Road. But there’s nothing like Murringo to bring out the farming artiste.

Each year their mailbox competition – which raises funds for the Murringo Community Association – attracts scores of entries and this year is no different, except poor Santa seems to find himself in a whole lot of trouble out that way.

Murringo is about two hours north-west of Canberra, between Young and Boorowa. Show the farming community your support by coming out to have a look!

For more details, go to the Murringo community Facebook page.

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