"It's Dire!" - Aussie Farmers Face Worst Drought In 100 Years

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Farmers are saying the situation they’ve been presented with is “dire.” As they battle the worst drought they’ve faced in 100 years, farming families in central-western New South Wales in Australia are facing ruin.

According to The Guardian, the farmers in the affected region of central and western New South Wales continue to battle a crippling drought that many locals are calling the worst since 1902. In Warrumbungle Shire, where sharp peaks fall away to once fertile farmland, the small town of Coonabarabran is running out of water. The town dam has fallen to 23% of its capacity and residents are living with level-six water restrictions.

There are real fears the town will run dry. Unable to provide food would not only mean financial ruin for the farmers but also less food for those who need it.

“It’s a pretty tough old time,” says Coonabarabran farmer Ambrose Doolan. “But if you’re working with your family and everyone is looking out for each other, you count your blessings.”

Last year, the Doolan family recorded their fourth-lowest average rainfall and that poor year has been followed by even drier conditions this year. The family has begun selling whatever stock they can and spends their whole day at feeding the cattle that remain because the pastures have dried up.

Farmers in this part of NSW are importing almost all food for their livestock from as far away as South Australia as prices rise with demand. The continued cost of buying feed is causing many to question their future on the land. The NSW government recently approved an emergency drought relief package of $600m, at least $250m of which will cover low-interest loans to assist eligible farm businesses to recover. The package has been welcomed but, in the words of a local farmer, “it barely touches the sides”. With the prospect of a dry El Niño weather pattern hitting the state in spring, the longer-term outlook is dire. The Guardian

As the cost of trucking in food for cattle and sheep increases, so will the cost of the products created from them, hitting consumers’ wallets hard. 

Charities such as Buy a Bale, where people can purchase hay bales for local farmers, have been some assistance, but rain would offer the biggest relief.  While much of NSW experienced a wet start to winter, the darker skies over Coonabarabran have yet to deliver said relief.

And many farmers say they will reject the government’s offer of a loan simply because they are already in a dire amount of debt.


El Vaquero NidStyles Fri, 07/20/2018 - 22:16 Permalink

In the middle of the day in the middle of summer?  I'd guess I'd make it 10-20 miles, tops.  And that's only carrying the water.  Carrying heavy shit?  Less.  You overheat faster than hell, and if there is no shade, it's really, really hard to cool back down without dumping some of that water over your head.  

In reply to by NidStyles

TrajanOptimus Ignatius Sat, 07/21/2018 - 03:20 Permalink

This is how stupid the Australians are, they are shipping feed to the animals rather than shipping the animals to the feed.

Virtually every cow born in Florida is shipped to the Midwest or Texas to be finished on a feed lot because they don't grow enough high protein feed in Florida because it's too hot to grow it. Bahia grass in Florida has a protein content of only 4% so they truck the cattle to where the feed is.

Those Aussies need to take a lesson from this.

In reply to by Ignatius

TrajanOptimus Thom Paine Sat, 07/21/2018 - 03:32 Permalink

I lived in Brisbane for 7 years, I know the county well.

They have cattle trucks there. Problem is, Their beef industry is a complete joke. Probably because American beef producers wipe their ass with Australian beef producers on the world market. And god knows why they continue to raise sheep with wool being damn near worthless.. Hell even your government got out of the wool business and sold off the wool sheds to developers.

Maybe importing all those sand nigs from the middle east is a plan to support your sheep farmers?? Bring the Muhammad to the food rather than shipping the food to the Muhammad ?

The only thing Australians are good at is digging shit out of the ground and selling it for pennies. They make 5/8ths of fuck all there... Virtually all manufactured items are imported... If it was not for minerals the country would be one of the poorest on earth.

Yeah, tell me again how I don't know about your backwards arse Liberal country.

In reply to by Thom Paine

Ghost who Walks TrajanOptimus Sat, 07/21/2018 - 05:31 Permalink

To expand what Thom Paine says and to also note your suggestion;

  • Yes, there are feedlots and stock transport in Australia.
  • The size of the herds of sheep and cattle versus the available feedlot capacity does not make your suggestion viable. The feedlot capacity has been developed to service particular markets and is much less than the total herd size.
  • The way that the markets for animals destined for meat operate, also affect the viability of your suggestion. As more Animals go into the system, prices drop.
  • Feeding the animals on a feedlot has to recoup the cost of transport and the feed when the animal is sold. This at a time of reduced crop productivity which sees the reduced amount of fodder and grain meet a market of rising demand. Hence feed prices rise.
  • There is a finite demand for meat in Australia, and the cost of converting the Animals into saleable products and shipping overseas, then confronts the reality of a finite demand curve, and eventually sale prices for animals that are below the cost of production.
  • Once the animals leave the farm gate ownership changes and the graziers lose their opportunity to generate any further income through the growth of the herd.
  • The current model of farm finance in Australia is not suitable for the cyclic nature of farm productivity. The absence of long-term low-interest rates loans has been noted during the current inquiry into banking.

In reply to by TrajanOptimus

Ghost who Walks TrajanOptimus Sat, 07/21/2018 - 15:44 Permalink

Thanks Trajan,

The process of that you talk about is handled two ways in Australia. I worked near a station that owned two properties and could shift their cattle from one (where they maintained their breeding stock) to another where the cattle were fattened prior to sale for market. This tends to be restricted to corporate producers. Family owned farms are not usually diversified, although the original Kidman properties were.

The second method is called agistment. https://www.agistment.net.au/ 

There is a market for this and it does operate the way that you suggested. Back to my original post and the way the animal markets operate in Australia, Farmers in Australia are commercially astute and can arbitrage opportunities and are experienced in dealing with cyclical markets. For some reason they do not seem to be using agistment to the degree that you think would be a viable solution to the problems they confront. I recognise at least one Zero Hedge  commentator on this article as an Australian farmer from the region under discussion. Perhaps they could provide more information on why Agistment is not a major part of the current solution?

In reply to by TrajanOptimus

Amicus Curiae TrajanOptimus Sat, 07/21/2018 - 06:53 Permalink

well you obviously dont live here now sport!

fine wools around the $20 a kilo mark

and they are shipping some animals to qld and elsewhere

funny the rave up  over this drought

when the rest of aus inc qld isnt doing that bad

the rains are late but happening

some of the fattest sheep n cattle Ive seen all through Victoria right now

this is following 3yrs or more of HUGE crops n hay stores for most areas.

cunts like YOUR ussa govt paying subsidies to grow shit like gmo that wouldnt break even let alone profit otherwise?

your control of the finance system n value of yank dollar screwing everyone over?

screw round with lowering prices on your crap sold in until you send our companies to the wall then buy em up flog the brands and go offshore again selling them as Aussie icons etc

fuck off n die!


In reply to by TrajanOptimus

Offthebeach Amicus Curiae Sat, 07/21/2018 - 07:16 Permalink

Waaaa.  Boohoo

One of the reasons is the size of the US economy,  like China.    Australian economy doesn't even show on radar.  

Nothing prevents Australia from forbidding investments.  Go ahead.  Try it.  

Australians want the benifit of low cost, container deisel shipping.  Gues what, what carrys out to world market, brings in.  Maybe in Australinonomics only allow sail clippers.  (Which would do wonders for mineral costs.)



Australians could learn specialized high value exports, but that would require risk taking, massive foreign investors.  ( Dollars again ).

Or Autralians could have a government panel study the proposal for 10 years, then award grants to favoured hacks, and unions, maybe a few law suits, change of government, whereupon the factory will produce the outmoded product, at a loss, taxes raised to bribe the one customer to take it.....because of jobs, vital industry, world player....

In reply to by Amicus Curiae

IvannaHumpalot Offthebeach Sat, 07/21/2018 - 22:16 Permalink

that dart hit a bullseye. you know what you're talking about.


Or Autralians could have a government panel study the proposal for 10 years, then award grants to favoured hacks, and unions, maybe a few law suits, change of government, whereupon the factory will produce the outmoded product, at a loss, taxes raised to bribe the one customer to take it.....because of jobs, vital industry, world player....

In reply to by Offthebeach

keep the basta… CompassionateC… Sat, 07/21/2018 - 01:31 Permalink

Depends where they grew up. See them in Perth, 15 years old with the most expensive Nike gear on the planet in gangs giving threatening young whites whose parents work for what they give their kids is an eye opener. Fuckem.

Yer jest poor fucks they said to one group of white kids after checking out their stuff to decide what to steal.

fuckem. There is a lot of money and profit in pushing the indigenous barrow. They don’t want integration as equal no.

In reply to by CompassionateC…

Bubba Rum Das keep the basta… Sat, 07/21/2018 - 07:28 Permalink

Worked & lived in Guam for 2 years. (military, & lived off base.)

Oz had pretty much priced itself out of the Asian economy at the time.

Oz beef steak was about 30% higher cost in the big stores in Dededo, (capital), compared to the U.S. beef steak...

Sure, the Oz beef was a little better; but not 30% better.

Both came in on freezer ships; except the U.S. beef had to come about 6000 miles farther than the Oz beef.

At about 30% cheaper, which beef do you think people bought?

Fosters Lager, 24 ounce can; twice as much at the grocery as San Miguel in the 24 ounce bottle.

Both had to ship about the same distance, & the San Miguel was better beer.

So, WTF is it?
Who's getting the extra 'cut'; is it the producers, the government or the exporters?

In reply to by keep the basta…

Ghost who Walks fulliautomatix Sat, 07/21/2018 - 15:50 Permalink

I think that the problem is that Australia is a high-cost economy due to the cost of accommodation in Australia. If you look at the average cost of housing and the quality of it compared to our competitors, it is higher.

Until the housing bubble in Australia collapses and the results feed through into the broader economy, our competiveness will be reduced on global markets.

In reply to by fulliautomatix

Haitian Snackout NidStyles Fri, 07/20/2018 - 23:21 Permalink

Good question! Well I might be able to shed some light on that as I worked on the volunteer water station replentishment in Borrego Springs. ( It was a tourist town and they got tired of people dying, bad for biz and all ). Well walking at night, about 80 miles. Or at least the survivors made it that far. Left a lot of thank you notes and Mexican coins. I doubt most of em could have gone much further. Some people objected, but the town gave em the bird.

In reply to by NidStyles

Element MGTOW_MONERO_XMR Fri, 07/20/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

"Biggest drought in a century"? Where does zh get this garbage? SHTFPlan? Slavo's desperate for click-bait, as this is a mild dry-spell compared to what occurred just last decade. Actually, it's not even the biggest drought in the last 5 years, the central QLD drought from 2015 to 2017 was worse. >>95% of people in Australia don't know where Coonabarabran is, almost none have heard of it--what a crock.


Things are so dire here, no recession in 28 years, it's just terrible. Is there another country on Earth where that's occurred during the same period? Oh, the humanity! When will it ease up on us?

In reply to by MGTOW_MONERO_XMR

1800Vindication MGTOW_MONERO_XMR Sat, 07/21/2018 - 04:45 Permalink

SHOOT ALL THE FUCKING KANGAROOS. Im just back from a large property where they havent even bothered to seed oats this season. Why? Not because of no rain, they are lucky and have had some. No, kangaroos.. thousands of the fuckers. And guess how many tags the property was granted for culling in the last 12 months.. 15.. lol. 

When theres no grain left to produce your porridge, maybe then all you inner city leftist vegan cunts will come round to the realities of the world you live in. 

In reply to by MGTOW_MONERO_XMR

IvannaHumpalot 1800Vindication Sat, 07/21/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

only idiots cull roos. Smart people round them up for meat. Those "vegan cunts" in the cities actually love to eat roo mince. It's much more ecologically friendly and also does not pay halal certification fees.


oh and fuck the farmers who ship in 3rd world migrants for seasonal labour. Govt should just say NO to them - fucking pay some money and hire australians you traitor cunts

In reply to by 1800Vindication