Australia commits nearly $300 million to help drought-hit farmers

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The Australian government will provide a A$320 million ($289 million) assistance package to help farmers ravaged by years of drought across the east coast, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday. Drought

With pockets of Queensland and New South Wales recording the lowest ever rainfall levels, farmers in the world's third-biggest beef exporter have been forced to slaughter starving cows at record rates, pushing prices to lows, and adding political pressure for federal assistance.

"We can't work miracles, there is no magic wand but we will do what we can to help in difficult times," said Abbott. "Plainly for a large number of farmers right now, these are very difficult times."

The Australian federal government will make around A$280 million available in drought concession loans to give eligible farm businesses a chance to survive the drought, which has lasted two years in some parts of Australia.

Farmers in New South Wales and Queensland will also have access to an extended emergency water infrastructure scheme, allowing graziers to reclaim the cost of building dams or irrigation channels needed to keep animals alive, to which the government committed a further A$12 million dollars.

The package also includes about A$10 million for pest control in drought-hit areas. Farmers are competing with wild animals for scarce water supplies and feed, with feral pigs and kangaroo numbers soaring in parts of Queensland.

The package will make around A$11 million available to help increase access to social and mental health services in communities affected by this drought, the government said.

Farmer industry bodies welcomed the package, but stressed long-term strategy to tackle drought was needed.

"Since the millennium drought (broke), we have probably had three or four years and we still don't have that long-term solution," said Matt Linnegar, chief executive officer, National Farmers Federation. "We can not wait four more years for a long-term solution."

With a scorching drought withering pastures, farmers in Queensland state - home to half of Australia's 28 million strong livestock herd - have been forced to slaughter cattle, while the unfavourable weather has curbed summer crop production.

Meat and Livestock Australia, an industry body, said over 167,000 head of cattle were culled nationwide in the week ending Feb. 21 - the third straight weekly kill record.

With ample supply, Australia's benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, closed at A$3.11 per kg on Tuesday, near a four-year low of A$2.78-1/2 kg hit on Jan. 22.

($1 = 1.1078 Australian dollars)

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

1325 Bushel Grain Cart

Equipped with a 22” computer balanced auger with 5/16” flighting,the unloading speed is 50% faster than smaller grain carts with ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form