As regional towns across NSW brace for more rain and flooding, canola farmers have been left to face an unexpected adversity.
Trespassing Instagrammers looking for the perfect shot.
With crops now in full beautiful bloom, the temptation is proving too much for those looking to rack up social media likes.
“In the past few years we’ve had a lot of visitors that have just jumped fences, walked into open gates and trampled the crops,” Karen Beamount from the Cowra Visitor Centre told Yahoo News Australia.
“It’s created havoc in some areas where they have caused extensive damage.
“The farmers have lost large areas of the crop where people have just gone in and flattened big areas out to take some photos.
“They’re not impressed.”
Farmers take the reins
With the risk rising of further damage to their crop, farmers have taken matters into their own hands, teaming up with the Cowra Visitor Centre to offer cheeky photographers a more controlled view of their blooms.
“Of course the farmers aren't happy so we have worked closely in the last few years with them to provide a safe entry into specific farms that allows them to get that experience without creating all the damage,” Ms Beamount explained.
In partnership with two local farmers, the Visitor Centre is now offering several bus tours a week for an up close and behind-the-scenes look at canola farming.
“We've got permission with one farmer where he has allowed us on to a certain area of his property where we can go in,” Ms Beaumount said.
“It's in behind the shed where his farm machinery is so they also get a little bit of a view of the farm machinery on the way through.”
Bringing more money to town
Fortunately for Cowra, the tourist trail doesn’t stop there.
After securing a shot for the ‘Gram, the 12-seater bus brings tourists back into town for a tour and a talk about the canola industry, including how it’s grown, harvested and milled.
Once groups are dropped back off at the Visitor Centre, it’s time for a wine and product tasting.
“It's certainly creating a lot of tourism for Cowra and bringing a lot of money to town which is fantastic,” Ms Beaumount added.
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