Sunday, 5 August 2018

The worst drought in Australian history is in WINTER!!

Australia's worst drought in history is in WINTER!!
The el-Nino has not arrived. Have you grasped the significance?
Current drought the worst in centuries as cost of feed sends farmers broke
RECORDS show the current crisis being faced by devastated farmers is unprecedented. This is why



3 August, 2018


FARMERS are telling us it’s the worst drought they’ve experienced in their lifetime — and that’s just the start of it.

Scientific analysis of Australia’s drought extremes has shown the current crisis is likely to be the worst in 400 years.

Researchers recently reconstructed 800 years of seasonal rainfall patterns across the Australian continent and while 99 per cent of NSW is currently drought-stricken, the study also found that at the other end of the extreme, parts of Northern Australia are wetter than ever before.

The University of Melbourne team looked at historical records dating back to the 1700s but more detailed descriptions are provided in observational records when systematic recording of weather in Australia started in the late 19th century.
The most well known of these are the Federation drought (1895-1903), the World War II drought (1939-45), and the recent Millennium drought (1997-2009), as reported in The Conversation.

For example, the Millennium drought, which was most severe in southwestern and southeastern Australia, was caused by poor rainfall during the cool season,” they wrote.

In contrast, the Federation drought, which affected almost the entire continent, was predominantly due to rainfall declines during the warm season.

We found that recent shifts in rainfall variability are either unprecedented or very rare over the reconstructed period. The two most striking patterns were in tropical Northern Australia, which as been unusually wet over the past century, and southern Australia, which has been unusually dry.”

The researchers point out the Millennium drought was larger in area and longer, while those of the 17th and 18th centuries were limited to specific regions.

Australia’s drought crisis: This is how you can help

This Bureau of Meteorology weather map shows rainfall levels for the southern wet season from April 1 to July 31 this year. Picture: BOM
This Bureau of Meteorology weather map shows rainfall levels for the southern wet season from April 1 to July 31 this year. Picture: BOMSource:Supplied
By comparison, this one shows a similar period, from March 1 to July 31 last year, highlighting how much worse the situation is. Picture: BOM
By comparison, this one shows a similar period, from March 1 to July 31 last year, highlighting how much worse the situation is. Picture: BOMSource:Supplied

Drought graph showing patterns over centuries. Picture: The Conversation
Drought graph showing patterns over centuries. Picture: The ConversationSource:Supplied

Farmers have said this drought is the worst they’ve faced financially.
Some have reported churning through $1 million in a year just trying to feed their livestock.

Buy a Bale founder Charles Alder said a trailer of hay alone costs about $2500 and with transport costs as high as $5000 to get a supply to a property, feeding animals was a costly exercise.

Trailers can have between 40 and 60 hay bales on them and one trailer goes to just one farmer because the resource is so desperately needed.

Properties are too dry to produce any feed of their own and livestock are so starving farmers have been forced to shoot thousands of animals to put them out of their misery.

Mr Alder, who started the hay charity in 2013, has been inundated with requests from desperate farmers across the country.

Where they were once sending five trucks a week, they now transport anywhere up to 15.
Their waiting list is 850 farmers long and Mr Alder said sadly if they delivered a trailer to someone one month, they would only be calling again a month later.
The program asks Aussies to lend a hand by donating towards something that can make a difference to farmers — $4.40 pays for diesel to transport hay 1km, $100 worth of hay feeds one cow for one week, and $250 delivers 11,500 litres of water to a farm within 100km of the collection point.

For even more hay, $9500 buys a semi-trailer load and transports it to an affected area up to 900km.

It’s an expensive business to be in,” Mr Alder said. “There’s a distinct lack of hay at the moment. It’s never-ending really, which is challenging.

If we give them a truckload this month they’ll come back next month and need another so that’s pretty tough.”


Coral Jerry, 80, on the family farm ‘Marlborough’, 40km outside Coonabarabran. She is currently raising 40 orphaned lambs, feeding them 4-5 times a day. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
Coral Jerry, 80, on the family farm ‘Marlborough’, 40km outside Coonabarabran. She is currently raising 40 orphaned lambs, feeding them 4-5 times a day. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Mr Alder said they had 11,000 farmers on their database.

It’s just gone berserk,” he said. “It’s frustrating we have drought in Australia when we’re such a lucky country with so many assets, it’s a pity we have these challenges.”

Earlier this year, NSW dairy farmer John Fairley took to Facebook to ask the local community for help feeding his 130 cows and calves through the winter.

Usually the Fairley family, who run Country Valley in Picton, would grow their own crops to feed their cows but back in May, as a result of the drought over the three months prior, their grain only had about 10cm.

Every two weeks they were ordering 25 tonnes of hay to feed their animals at the cost of a whopping $9000 each trip and buying extra grain, costing another $9000 every six weeks.

Mr Fairley came up with the Adopt-A-Cow idea where Aussies could donate $1350 to adopt a cow or calf and help save the farm.

NSW has recorded the fifth-driest July on record with the dry spell marking the seventh consecutive month of below-average rainfall across the state.

The latest Bureau of Meteorology climate summary, released on Wednesday, found it was also the driest July since 2002 with many areas across the state recording the lowest July rainfall on record or the lowest amount for at least 20 years.

Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries estimates 57 per cent of that state is in drought.


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