17 August 2018
Farming is in Adam Cannon’s blood, but with a drought hitting hard he is worried what the future holds. “We’re coming up to 18 months without a decent rain.
“The rainfall records at the post office go back to 1891, and this is the driest period year of any year on record. We have not measured three inches for the year.”
His family has been farming at Peak Hill, near Dubbo, for 106 years. “We run about 3,400 breeding ewes. We do grow crops as well, but last year was a very hard year and our crops didn’t yield very much at all.”
He has had to buy feed to keep his animals alive. “We don’t buy in grain unless it’s an extreme drought. It’s like the Eskimos asking for ice donations. What we’re facing now is something we’ve never faced.”
There’s enough feed to get his animals through to October or November, but without a decent rain “going into next year, we will have nothing on hand to feed if it gets tough again. That’s a real worry. We’ve got some pretty serious decisions to make soon.”
Sue Strahorn has been farming in the same area with her husband Robert for four decades. “The drought has really been biting here this year. I see Robert coming in, and he’s very quiet, and we’ve got ewes on, the lambing at the moment, so we’re feeding those, and that’s extra mouths to feed.”
Sue is a Red Cross volunteer and has been helping farming families in need of support. “There’s a lot of families that don’t have money to purchase food. There are families that have tried to feed their children while they’ve been virtually living on next-to-nothing rations themselves.” Donations to our drought appeal will help farmers to pay for household essentials, like groceries, petrol, medical bills and school fees.