The Australian drought

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by primroselane, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    Hardest-hit are farmers further west on the edge of the outback. But even Cowra is reeling, and wheat from this district is the key to Australia's rise to the world's second-biggest wheat exporter, after the United States.

    "Federation" wheat bred for Australian conditions in the late 1870s by the father of the country's wheat industry, William Farrer, was produced on farms in the hills around this town.

    Even in dry years Cowra farmers can usually count on some rain, but not this year. "I've never seen it as bad as this before," said Groves's neighbor Bev Donges.

    Will it affect prices for wheat, feed and livestock? Will it be of any significance to those starving in Africa?
  2. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

    May 8, 2002
    central New South Wales, Australia
    I'm in the middle of it. Cowra is about 70-80 km closer to the coast than us, and enjoys about 25% more rainfall. I know the Donges who are mentioned in that article.

    Yes, it WILL affect world grain and livestock supplies. It already is. Even when the drought ends - if it does, and we have global warming and a REALLY extended El Nino effect to think about there - then it will go on affecting things as farmers who have sold-off stock try to re-stock.

    People in the USA are already paying higher prices because this drought means there is less beef on the market. Their hamburgers cost more because there is almost no Australian beef to make them, and also that means the US and even Argentinian beef prices are driven up by market forces. The US beef costs more because there is no Australian grain for the US feed-lots, and little Australian prime beef from Australian feed lots to compete with it. The starving Africans suffer because Australia is normally one of the major suppliers of food aid, but there isn't any surplus.

    People talk about the 2002 drought, but really there has been no break. It's a drought that has run through 2002, a brief break which wasn't sufficient to replenish sub-soil moisture, 2003, 2004, 2005, and we see no end in sight. This is already the third-worst drought in over two hundred years of record-keeping, and as my father (who has seen two of them and knew the people who saw the other in his 90 years) says, it is the only drought which was truly nation-wide. Always before there were regions which weren't affected - regions where stock could be sent for agistment, where you could buy hay and grain from, regions where stock could be bought back from when the drought ended. Not now. EVERYWHERE is affected.

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Aug 10, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    Don, I'm sorry to hear that yourself or anybody has to suffer through such a difficult time. We had a couple years of drought and I'm not really sure when we'll all recover. Outsiders (non agricultural people) feel that as soon as the rain comes the world is right again but those two years of losses will be felt for a long time to come. It seems that when feed is in short supply and with no place to really sell your livestock there is no shortage of folks looking to seize livestock and charge owners with neglect. They don't seem interested in helping or offering solutions, just making a point to people who already know how truly bad things are. I wish you and your neighbors well and pray that things improve very soon. I know that nobody here looks at a dry spell the same way any more, we just went through a dry spring and you could read the fear on people's faces and the relief when the rain finally came.
  4. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2003
    Estillfork, Alabama
    Great. This is just the excuse the GMO people will use to say we have to plant that crap here, because the world's supply is in danger. Forget the fact that it yields less, cost more and is only now having some of its true dangers come to light. :grump:
  5. NWSneaky

    NWSneaky Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    The Aussie weather debacle is a huge reason in our high finished beef prices. The best to you fine folk.