FEEDING dairy cows will become one of the greatest challenges facing farmers in flood affected parts of NSW and Queensland.
Dairy Australia's issues management manager Julie Iommi told Weekly Times Now, while tens of thousands of litres of milk had been dumped in flood-affected areas, the greatest concern for farmers was fodder levels.
The industry's peak body is expecting further updates on the situation today.
Ms Iommi said NSW farmers from Grafton to Kempsey were prepared for the heavy rain but it was such a significant event.
In NSW 30 farms are completely inundated.
One farm had all its power poles washed away in the Macksville area and another farmer milked at a neighbours.
"In terms of the volume of milk dumped, it's in the tens of thousands," Ms Iommi said.
She said farmers were continuing to milk but safe tanker access with bridges washed away was proving a challenge.
In Queensland milk tankers are unable to access about 12 properties in the Monto region and further rain swamped Gympie.
The Mary River at Gympie peaked at 18.44m at midnight.
The biggest concern for farmers was the loss of summer pastures which was almost ready to harvest.
Ms Iommi said crops had been washed away and others flooded with no hope of getting machinery on to the paddock.
"It's about getting the fodder in for now and what to feed stock into the winter. It's been a dry summer and the yields were not going to be great and to lose entire crops is hard."
Richmond Dairies chief financial officer Craig Kelly said like all processors the company based at Casino in northern NSW had been affected by the floods.
"There's going to be a multi-faceted impact on supply from short-term access to farms and later production on farms," Mr Kelly said.
He said the company had suppliers from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to the back of Kempsey, NSW, and "just about all have been impacted in some way".
He called for state governments to help farmers in steps to recovery.