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Grazing At a Premium in Drought Hit Australia

17 April 2013

AUSTRALIA – Local governments are working towards drought declarations after the summer wet season did little to alleviate irrigation issues.

As many as 20 properties have now been granted drought status with particular hardship being felt in the Mackinlay shire in Australia’s north east. Ranchers are experiencing a one in 20 year dry spell which has forced selling and agistment, reports ABC news.

James Pearson, who works a cattle station at Bull Creek told ABC Rural about how difficult this year has been.

"There's normally grass up to your knees and generally green or just haying off, the cattle would be fat and everyone's happy and it's just a great atmosphere and a great place to be,” said Mr Pearson."This year it's really copped it; I think right up to the Gulf is pretty ordinary."

Some producers are in the process of applying for government subsidies to help cart emergency supplies to farms. This help is important as feedlots are full due to little grass being available and this is dropping prices.

Strathfield Station are driving cattle along stock routes after deciding it was more cost-effective than road transportation given the grazing market.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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