Australia

Farming is much more than just starving sheep and dry paddocks

LONG spells of hot, dry weather are nothing new in the Central West, but last year the drought hit the local, state and national headlines like never before. Farmers across the region were already subject to failing crops and stock left without water and feed, but in early August it seemed the entire nation was made aware of the conditions. On August 8, the entire state was declared in drought and the NSW Department of Primary Industries said 61 per cent of NSW was either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent was drought affected. READ MORE: Weve been shoved aside by the government, horticulturalist says It was much the same in the Central West. The drought prompted visits to the region by the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who visited Trangie in June and August, while current Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Blayney in October. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Newbridge near Bathurst in late July. The visits coincided with drought funding announcements for farmers and helped to raise awareness of the conditions to those in urban areas. Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd said the visits may have helped raise awareness and subsequent donations by the public, but he feared that footage and photographs taken by media at the time of “starving sheep” and “wind blown paddocks” did not “paint agriculture in a good light”. READ MORE: Drought will continue to bring dust storms to region “Its a highly progressive industry and most people arent aware of the technology we have,” Mr Shepherd said. “Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient. “Every year it gets hard for urban people to recognise the country, less people in the city know people in the bush.” Central West farmer Wayne Dunford has properties near Parkes and Brewarrina and alongside his cropping operations also runs fat lambs and cattle. He has been hand-feeding his stock since mid 2017 and in the past six months has sold more than half of his breeding cattle. Mr Dunford agreed that while political visits did a lot to raise awareness and subsequently donations to drought charities, there were down sides to the publicity. About 14 months ago, locally-sourced hay cost around $350 a tonne including freight, but thanks to the declaration of drought in NSW and huge donations by the public to drought charities, he said the cost of hay skyrocketed. READ MORE: Heatwaves and high fire danger to continue into 2019 Mr Dunford said drought charities were bidding against farmers for “sheds full of hay”. “The sad fact is that the amount of money that was donated put the price of hay though the roof,” he said. “Hay costs went up $100 a tonne in two weeks. “We stopped buying at $450 a tonne because with freight it cost over $500. We were spending $20,000 a week.”

Farming is much more than just starving sheep and dry paddocks

  • TOP SUPPORT: Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid two visits to the region in 2018, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison came once.

  • HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

    HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

  • HERE TO HELP: The then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre), pictured with farmers Phil and Ahslea Miles, their son Jack and Parkes MP Mark Coulton, during his visit to Trangie in June, 2018. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

    HERE TO HELP: The then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre), pictured with farmers Phil and Ahslea Miles, their son Jack and Parkes MP Mark Coulton, during his visit to Trangie in June, 2018. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

  • HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

    HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

  • HERE TO HELP: Then then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to announce the drought-relief drought support in August, 2018. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

    HERE TO HELP: Then then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to announce the drought-relief drought support in August, 2018. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

LONG spells of hot, dry weather are nothing new in the Central West, but last year the drought hit the local, state and national headlines like never before.

Farmers across the region were already subject to failing crops and stock left without water and feed, but in early August it seemed the entire nation was made aware of the conditions.

On August 8, the entire state was declared in drought and the NSW Department of Primary Industries said 61 per cent of NSW was either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent was drought affected.

It was much the same in the Central West.

The visits coincided with drought funding announcements for farmers and helped to raise awareness of the conditions to those in urban areas.

Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd said the visits may have helped raise awareness and subsequent donations by the public, but he feared that footage and photographs taken by media at the time of “starving sheep” and “wind blown paddocks” did not “paint agriculture in a good light”.

“Its a highly progressive industry and most people arent aware of the technology we have,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient.

Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient.

Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd

“Every year it gets hard for urban people to recognise the country, less people in the city know people in the bush.”

Central West farmer Wayne Dunford has properties near Parkes and Brewarrina and alongside his cropping operations also runs fat lambs and cattle.

He has been hand-feeding his stock since mid 2017 and in the past six months has sold more than half of his breeding cattle.

THE BIG DRY: Mixed farmer Wayne Dunford says rainfall in October and November, many farmers are back to the same state they were before. Photo: FILE

THE BIG DRY: Mixed farmer Wayne Dunford says rainfall in October and November, many farmers are back to the same state they were before. Photo: FILE

Mr Dunford agreed that while political visits did a lot to raise awareness and subsequently donations to drought charities, there were down sides to the publicity.

About 14 months ago, locally-sourced hay cost around $350 a tonne including freight, but thanks to the declaration of drought in NSW and huge donations by the public to drought charities, he said the cost of hay skyrocketed.

Mr Dunford said drought charities were bidding against farmers for “sheds full of hay”.

“The sad fact is that the amount of money that was donated put the price of hay though the roof,” he said.

“Hay costs went up $100 a tonne in two weeks.

“We stopped buying at $450 a tonne because with freight it cost over $500. We were spending $20,000 a week.”

Related Posts

Australia

Farming is much more than just starving sheep and dry paddocks

LONG spells of hot, dry weather are nothing new in the Central West, but last year the drought hit the local, state and national headlines like never before. Farmers across the region were already subject to failing crops and stock left without water and feed, but in early August it seemed the entire nation was made aware of the conditions. On August 8, the entire state was declared in drought and the NSW Department of Primary Industries said 61 per cent of NSW was either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent was drought affected. READ MORE: Weve been shoved aside by the government, horticulturalist says It was much the same in the Central West. The drought prompted visits to the region by the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who visited Trangie in June and August, while current Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Blayney in October. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Newbridge near Bathurst in late July. The visits coincided with drought funding announcements for farmers and helped to raise awareness of the conditions to those in urban areas. Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd said the visits may have helped raise awareness and subsequent donations by the public, but he feared that footage and photographs taken by media at the time of “starving sheep” and “wind blown paddocks” did not “paint agriculture in a good light”. READ MORE: Drought will continue to bring dust storms to region “Its a highly progressive industry and most people arent aware of the technology we have,” Mr Shepherd said. “Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient. “Every year it gets hard for urban people to recognise the country, less people in the city know people in the bush.” Central West farmer Wayne Dunford has properties near Parkes and Brewarrina and alongside his cropping operations also runs fat lambs and cattle. He has been hand-feeding his stock since mid 2017 and in the past six months has sold more than half of his breeding cattle. Mr Dunford agreed that while political visits did a lot to raise awareness and subsequently donations to drought charities, there were down sides to the publicity. About 14 months ago, locally-sourced hay cost around $350 a tonne including freight, but thanks to the declaration of drought in NSW and huge donations by the public to drought charities, he said the cost of hay skyrocketed. READ MORE: Heatwaves and high fire danger to continue into 2019 Mr Dunford said drought charities were bidding against farmers for “sheds full of hay”. “The sad fact is that the amount of money that was donated put the price of hay though the roof,” he said. “Hay costs went up $100 a tonne in two weeks. “We stopped buying at $450 a tonne because with freight it cost over $500. We were spending $20,000 a week.”

Farming is much more than just starving sheep and dry paddocks

  • TOP SUPPORT: Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid two visits to the region in 2018, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison came once.

  • HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

    HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

  • HERE TO HELP: The then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre), pictured with farmers Phil and Ahslea Miles, their son Jack and Parkes MP Mark Coulton, during his visit to Trangie in June, 2018. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

    HERE TO HELP: The then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre), pictured with farmers Phil and Ahslea Miles, their son Jack and Parkes MP Mark Coulton, during his visit to Trangie in June, 2018. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

  • HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

    HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

  • HERE TO HELP: Then then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to announce the drought-relief drought support in August, 2018. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

    HERE TO HELP: Then then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to announce the drought-relief drought support in August, 2018. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

LONG spells of hot, dry weather are nothing new in the Central West, but last year the drought hit the local, state and national headlines like never before.

Farmers across the region were already subject to failing crops and stock left without water and feed, but in early August it seemed the entire nation was made aware of the conditions.

On August 8, the entire state was declared in drought and the NSW Department of Primary Industries said 61 per cent of NSW was either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent was drought affected.

It was much the same in the Central West.

The visits coincided with drought funding announcements for farmers and helped to raise awareness of the conditions to those in urban areas.

Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd said the visits may have helped raise awareness and subsequent donations by the public, but he feared that footage and photographs taken by media at the time of “starving sheep” and “wind blown paddocks” did not “paint agriculture in a good light”.

“Its a highly progressive industry and most people arent aware of the technology we have,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient.

Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient.

Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd

“Every year it gets hard for urban people to recognise the country, less people in the city know people in the bush.”

Central West farmer Wayne Dunford has properties near Parkes and Brewarrina and alongside his cropping operations also runs fat lambs and cattle.

He has been hand-feeding his stock since mid 2017 and in the past six months has sold more than half of his breeding cattle.

THE BIG DRY: Mixed farmer Wayne Dunford says rainfall in October and November, many farmers are back to the same state they were before. Photo: FILE

THE BIG DRY: Mixed farmer Wayne Dunford says rainfall in October and November, many farmers are back to the same state they were before. Photo: FILE

Mr Dunford agreed that while political visits did a lot to raise awareness and subsequently donations to drought charities, there were down sides to the publicity.

About 14 months ago, locally-sourced hay cost around $350 a tonne including freight, but thanks to the declaration of drought in NSW and huge donations by the public to drought charities, he said the cost of hay skyrocketed.

Mr Dunford said drought charities were bidding against farmers for “sheds full of hay”.

“The sad fact is that the amount of money that was donated put the price of hay though the roof,” he said.

“Hay costs went up $100 a tonne in two weeks.

“We stopped buying at $450 a tonne because with freight it cost over $500. We were spending $20,000 a week.”

Related Posts

Australia

Farming is much more than just starving sheep and dry paddocks

LONG spells of hot, dry weather are nothing new in the Central West, but last year the drought hit the local, state and national headlines like never before. Farmers across the region were already subject to failing crops and stock left without water and feed, but in early August it seemed the entire nation was made aware of the conditions. On August 8, the entire state was declared in drought and the NSW Department of Primary Industries said 61 per cent of NSW was either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent was drought affected. READ MORE: Weve been shoved aside by the government, horticulturalist says It was much the same in the Central West. The drought prompted visits to the region by the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who visited Trangie in June and August, while current Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Blayney in October. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Newbridge near Bathurst in late July. The visits coincided with drought funding announcements for farmers and helped to raise awareness of the conditions to those in urban areas. Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd said the visits may have helped raise awareness and subsequent donations by the public, but he feared that footage and photographs taken by media at the time of “starving sheep” and “wind blown paddocks” did not “paint agriculture in a good light”. READ MORE: Drought will continue to bring dust storms to region “Its a highly progressive industry and most people arent aware of the technology we have,” Mr Shepherd said. “Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient. “Every year it gets hard for urban people to recognise the country, less people in the city know people in the bush.” Central West farmer Wayne Dunford has properties near Parkes and Brewarrina and alongside his cropping operations also runs fat lambs and cattle. He has been hand-feeding his stock since mid 2017 and in the past six months has sold more than half of his breeding cattle. Mr Dunford agreed that while political visits did a lot to raise awareness and subsequently donations to drought charities, there were down sides to the publicity. About 14 months ago, locally-sourced hay cost around $350 a tonne including freight, but thanks to the declaration of drought in NSW and huge donations by the public to drought charities, he said the cost of hay skyrocketed. READ MORE: Heatwaves and high fire danger to continue into 2019 Mr Dunford said drought charities were bidding against farmers for “sheds full of hay”. “The sad fact is that the amount of money that was donated put the price of hay though the roof,” he said. “Hay costs went up $100 a tonne in two weeks. “We stopped buying at $450 a tonne because with freight it cost over $500. We were spending $20,000 a week.”

Farming is much more than just starving sheep and dry paddocks

  • TOP SUPPORT: Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid two visits to the region in 2018, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison came once.

  • HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

    HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

  • HERE TO HELP: The then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre), pictured with farmers Phil and Ahslea Miles, their son Jack and Parkes MP Mark Coulton, during his visit to Trangie in June, 2018. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

    HERE TO HELP: The then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre), pictured with farmers Phil and Ahslea Miles, their son Jack and Parkes MP Mark Coulton, during his visit to Trangie in June, 2018. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

  • HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

    HERE TO HELP: Prime Minister Scott Morrison during his visit to Blayney in October, 2018. Photo: SUPPLIED

  • HERE TO HELP: Then then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to announce the drought-relief drought support in August, 2018. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

    HERE TO HELP: Then then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to announce the drought-relief drought support in August, 2018. Photo: AMY MCINTYRE

LONG spells of hot, dry weather are nothing new in the Central West, but last year the drought hit the local, state and national headlines like never before.

Farmers across the region were already subject to failing crops and stock left without water and feed, but in early August it seemed the entire nation was made aware of the conditions.

On August 8, the entire state was declared in drought and the NSW Department of Primary Industries said 61 per cent of NSW was either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent was drought affected.

It was much the same in the Central West.

The visits coincided with drought funding announcements for farmers and helped to raise awareness of the conditions to those in urban areas.

Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd said the visits may have helped raise awareness and subsequent donations by the public, but he feared that footage and photographs taken by media at the time of “starving sheep” and “wind blown paddocks” did not “paint agriculture in a good light”.

“Its a highly progressive industry and most people arent aware of the technology we have,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient.

Im worried it showed farmers as backward and always expecting a hand out and most people arent like that. Most people are pretty resilient.

Central West agronomist Glenn Shepherd

“Every year it gets hard for urban people to recognise the country, less people in the city know people in the bush.”

Central West farmer Wayne Dunford has properties near Parkes and Brewarrina and alongside his cropping operations also runs fat lambs and cattle.

He has been hand-feeding his stock since mid 2017 and in the past six months has sold more than half of his breeding cattle.

THE BIG DRY: Mixed farmer Wayne Dunford says rainfall in October and November, many farmers are back to the same state they were before. Photo: FILE

THE BIG DRY: Mixed farmer Wayne Dunford says rainfall in October and November, many farmers are back to the same state they were before. Photo: FILE

Mr Dunford agreed that while political visits did a lot to raise awareness and subsequently donations to drought charities, there were down sides to the publicity.

About 14 months ago, locally-sourced hay cost around $350 a tonne including freight, but thanks to the declaration of drought in NSW and huge donations by the public to drought charities, he said the cost of hay skyrocketed.

Mr Dunford said drought charities were bidding against farmers for “sheds full of hay”.

“The sad fact is that the amount of money that was donated put the price of hay though the roof,” he said.

“Hay costs went up $100 a tonne in two weeks.

“We stopped buying at $450 a tonne because with freight it cost over $500. We were spending $20,000 a week.”

Related Posts