Storms and flood fail to dampen Reids' resolve

Brett Reid and his father Kym have bounced back after a series of disasters on their farm.
Brett Reid and his father Kym have bounced back after a series of disasters on their farm.

There is a glint of steel behind the jovial presence of Wandearah East farmer Kym Reid and his son Brett.

Their 1200-hectare grain farm in SA’s Mid North suffered a series of blows in the past 12 years, but the boys never walked away from the challenge.

First came a storm in January 2005, with wind flattening trees and damaging field bins.

Then in November 2015, gusts again hammered the property and smashed bins.

Last year, in another storm, hail swept in, damaging crops, and the breeze destroyed the shed, caused havoc to equipment and twisted the roofs of buildings and the house as well as pummelled vehicles.

More than $1 million damage was caused … then at the AFL grand final weekend later in the year, the Broughton River to the north broke its banks and flooded the property to a depth of about 30 centimetres above the workshop bench.

What is going to happen next?

“I don’t know. Hopefully not to much for the next few years,” Brett said. 

His father said: “You have just got to learn to carry on.”

Ironically, after last year’s flood, the moisture-laden grain crops responded with yields of five to six tonnes a hectare in an area where 3t/ha is cause for elation. 

The father-and-son team grows wheat, barley, legumes, peas and lentils.

Kym’s late parents Kemmy and Verlie farmed the property previously.

“Dad was one of 14 children,” he said.

“Farming is all I wanted to do. I could not get out of school quickly enough.”