State of concern: All of NSW feeling effects of drought

10 August, 2018, 16:15 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • An aerial view of the cattle feeding operation on the property'Toorawandi owned by Coonabrabran farmer Ambrose Doolan

"There isn't a person in the state that isn't hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities", Niall Blair, minister for primary industries, said in a statement. Among them is New South Wales, which is facing the driest and most widespread conditions since 1965.

Farmers are having to decide whether to continue the expensive and laborious task of hand-feeding cattle and sheep or sell their livestock.

The new rules will increase culling quotas and more shooters to operate under a single license, a government press release states.

A crippling drought is ravaging vast tracts of Australia's pastoral heartlands, decimating herds and putting desperate farmers under intense financial and emotional strain, with little relief in sight.

The US will subsidise farmers and buy unsold crops, among other measures; farmers growing soybeans, sorghum and wheat will get the most aid. But it's not enough for many farmers.

"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in a take whatever is left", Blair said.

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"If we don't manage this situation, we will start to see tens of thousands of kangaroos starving and suffering, ultimately leading to a major animal welfare crisis".

"This is probably the worst possible outcome for the kangaroo, but we do understand the plight farmers are in", Mr Borda added.

Drought is a period of abnormally low rainfall that leads to shortages of water supply.

There was also cash for counselling and mental health services, with drought-related stress and even suicide a mounting concern, compounded by the isolation many feel on their remote properties.

Conditions are similarly dire in Queensland to the north, where the state government says almost 60 percent of land is suffering drought conditions.

Across Southern Australia, 2018 saw the second-driest autumn on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with rainfall 57mm (2.24in) below average, with less than 10mm of rain was recorded in parts of NSW in July, and drier than normal conditions are forecast in coming months, as reported by the BBC.

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