For Belmore River dairy farmers Sue and Brett McGinn the past two weeks have been filled with sleepless nights and heartache as they come to terms with the devastation caused by the recent flood.
The severity and force of the weather event meant their farm was isolated for five days and they had little time to prepare.
"We weren't prepared in regards to food for ourselves, so that meant some interesting meals," Sue said.
This was because all of their preparation and concern was for their 200 head of cattle.
They moved their herd to a dry patch of land, with the majority of their farm ending up under water.
"Around 90 per cent of our property was underwater for seven days. We lost all of our pastures," Sue said.
Their property was impacted by the river on one side and water from the Hastings and Macleay on the other.
"Ten days later we still have water on our property," Sue said.
This time of year is usually when farmers will begin preparing their winter feed for their cattle and Sue said the flood has made this very difficult.
"Dairy is different to beef, we don't have the opportunity to send our cattle away because we have to milk them," she said.
"They do also require a lot of feeding and a good quality diet to produce high quality milk.
"One of the biggest challenges we are facing now is having enough feed for winter. We had started planting Ryegrass but it all went underwater."
Their 250 acres of pastures, due to being waterlogged for days, won't recover in time.
"We're also heading into cooler weather and shorter days which will slow this process down," Sue said.
Roads being inundated with water and communities isolated also meant trucks couldn't pick up milk from Sue and Brett's farm.
"We had to dump two days worth of milk production because the trucks couldn't get through."
Sue said they are also dealing with sick cows and hoof problems due to the water in their paddocks.
"The quality of the milk isn't the highest it could be because of the condition the cows are in."
Sue and Brett have spent the past few days on the phones trying to secure feed for their cattle.
"It's too big to handle on our own and now we're just trying to source feed. We had four large round bales and four large square bales delivered, but that's only two days feed for the cattle."
They also received a delivery of grain, but Sue said it has been the announcement of available grants for primary producers impacted by the floods that will help make a difference.
Sue was one of many farmers who met with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey to advocate on behalf of farmers impacted by the floods.
"It was a relief to know that our cry for help had been heard," Sue said.
The announcement of the activation of Category C and D assistance through the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements means grants for primary producers of up to $75,000 where direct damage has occurred, on a cost shared basis, are available.
"The extensive impact this flood has had means this money won't cover everything, but it's a very welcome announcement for farmers," Sue said.
The recovery phase will be long and tough for farmers across the Macleay and one that will include difficult decisions for many.
"We will need to sell cattle which will include some of our non-productive stock," Sue said.
The Macleay has experienced its fair share of floods, but Sue said this one has been the worst they have experienced in the 27 years they have lived at Belmore River.
Through it all Sue and Brett have continued to milk twice a day, feed calves and hand feed the rest of their herd.
"It will be a long and slow recovery for us as we head into winter, but we'll get through this."
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