Australia's Drought-Hit Farms 'in Survival Mode'
Danny Stork, a livestock farmer in Glen Oak, 180 km (110 miles)north of Sydney, has 20 bales of hay left for his 100 head of cattle. He is now feeding them light rations in the hope the winter drought breaks. If it doesn't - and weather forecasts suggest it won't - he will run out of feed and water within weeks, leaving him little option but to send his livestock to the abattoir. "The dams are dry after months of little rain - we are in survival mode, hoping for a break," said Stork. "If it doesn't (rain), I will have to sell all the livestock, it is that serious." The drought in Australia's east, one of the worst on record, is impacting every area of rural life, often with global trade and price implications. Already many cattle graziers are being forced to sell stock they can no longer feed. Australian farmers slaughtered 659,000 head of cattle in June, the highest monthly figure in three years, according to government data published on Tuesday. For the time being, strong U.S. demand is absorbing the extra supply, keeping prices 10 percent higher than their average over the last eight years. But the United States has already amassed more than 2.5 billion pounds of excess beef, pork and other meats in cold storage facilities, according to U.S. data, and may soon ease off buying. "The big concern is what happens after the northern markets begin to wind down," said Matt Dalgleish, trading manager at agricultural consultant Mecardo. Other farmers are also suffering. Australia - the world's fourth-largest wheat exporter - is expect production of its staple grain fall to a decade low as dry condition stymie yields. Quality is also low as the dry weather bites, a key driver in benchmark global prices... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Australia's Drought-Hit Farms 'in Survival Mode', simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 7 August, 2018
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