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Central producers lose stock in heat

Caddie Brain, Friday January 3, 2014 - 14:53 EDT
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Cattle producers are experiencing near-record conditions around Central Australia. - ABC

Central Australian cattle producers are struggling with near-record temperatures.

It was the hottest January day ever in Tennant Creek peaking at 45.4 degrees. It breaks the previous record set last year of 44.2 degrees.

Alice Springs has recorded 13 consecutive days over 40 degrees celsius.

But cattle stations east of Alice Springs were the hottest places in the Northern Territory today, with Jervois Station reaching 46 degrees.

Jo Fogarty from Lucy Creek Station, which neighbours Jervois Station, says the hot and dry conditions is resulting in some stock losses.

"We're losing a few a week," she said.

"Some bores are better than others, but there are areas where we might lose a few of our older cows.

"It's the lack of feed and I know some people [in the region] are losing more.

"We've got good water supplies at our bores so we're lucky there.

"But the heat is shocking, just disgusting."

While Lucy Creek Station had just one sixth of its average rainfall in 2013, neighbouring station Jervois recorded its driest year on record.

The Bureau of Meteorology confirm it had just 95.8 millimetres of rain beating the previous record set in 2009 by just 2 millimetres.

Its average annual rainfall is 290 millimetres.

Paddy Weir from Allambi Station says they also had one of their driest years on record.

"Allambi had 45 millimetres last year; 250 millimetres is our average rainfall.

"We're just making sure the cattle have plenty of water.

"My husband's spending a lot of time checking bores, starting bores and in some instances actually trucking water out to places where there's feed but the dam has run out of water.

"It's full on this time of year."

Temperatures are expected to fall by around ten degrees around the region from Friday.


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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