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Drought in all but name

Tuesday January 15, 2013 - 08:09 EDT
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Hunter farmers say they're struggling with drought-like conditions that have settled on the region - ABC

Hunter farmers say although the region is not technically in drought, rivers are drying up and many landholders have turned to hand feeding stock.

Many parts of the Upper Hunter battled without significant rain for more than six months last year and the area has been declared marginal by the Department of Primary Industries for the second consecutive month.

Gordon Gallagher is a farmer at Wybong and says the conditions are rough.

"The farmers here have been feeding cattle and cutting back their numbers," he said.

"Now we're faced with the Wybong Creek that's stopped running in places."

Wybong only recorded 491 mm of rain in 2012, 100 mm below average.

It is enough to prompt landholders to start using supplements to sustain their stock as they work through the drought-like conditions.

Mr Gallagher says it is a disheartening situation.

"I've used a few salt blocks and there's molasses that I see about that other farmers have put out and I see quite a lot of round bales going out every morning to cattle around the district."


© ABC 2013

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