Charity steps in for farmers

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Charity steps in for farmers

Rain across four states has failed to dampen demand for fodder to feed drought affectedlivestock.

Australia’s most trusted rural charity Rural Aid said the sigh of relief from farmers who received rain in the past week was almost audible such was the desperation of some; none more so than producers in south-western West Australia where the region had experienced its driest conditions on record.

“This rain could not have come at a better time given the circumstances producers had in front of them,” Rural Aid chief executive officer John Warlters said.

“But we do not expect the demand for fodder, or the challenge in sourcing it, to change in the short to medium term.”

The challenge was still ahead of many farming families whose enterprises had received only light relief and where still hoping for more rain in coming weeks.

Large parts of Victoria remained especially dry – rainfall during autumn had been in the lowest 10% of records for the south-west, and parts of the west, north-east and East Gippsland.

South Australia had enjoyed some relief with falls on average of between five to 15mm but remained parched.

“Rural Aid continues to be active right across the country at this time providing hay for livestock, drinking water, and financial relief,” Mr Warlters said.

“Our counsellors are particularly active in providing one-on-one support, but are also attending a wide cross-section of industry events to ensure they are visible and easily accessible to anyone that wants to chat.”

In the past month, Rural Aid had coordinated 29 fodder drops across the country, including Western Australia and Queensland, alongside South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
South Australia

Aseries of hay drops over multiple weeks were scheduled, vthe most recent at Quorn on June 3.

Further drops at Quorn were planned for coming weeks pending further rain and continuing access to fodder.

Rural Aid counsellors continued to provide wellbeing support while discussions with industry continued regarding how Rural Aid could best support farmers above and beyond its “traditional” service delivery.

Mr Warlters said Rural Aid relied heavily on community and corporate support to fund its activities and was encouraging tax-time donations to help sustain its efforts.

“With June 30 just around the corner now is an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation in support of Rural Aid and ‘our mates in the bush’ – the farming families that need our help,” he said.

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