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Farmers facing dire conditions

Thursday October 17, 2013 - 08:45 EDT
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The hot and dry conditions are making it tough for beef farmers in the Hunter. - ABC

Hunter beef farmers say they are facing dire conditions as hot weather and little rain have forced them to reduce stock.

Hot westerly winds throughout the region are drying out western facing land affecting grass feed loads.

Singleton beef farmer Leonie Ball says she has cut her stock by about a third over the past three months.

She says with no significant rain forecast on the horizon, things are looking dismal.

"Everyone in the dry zones are definitely doing the same thing, the market's reflecting that," she said.

"We are taking less than half of the income that we were 12 months ago, which is a significant blow to the rural sector because once your profits start declining, so does your spending.

"So there's a lot of people out there doing it tough, not just the farmers."

Ms Ball says her income has less than half of what it was a year ago and she has had to sell hundreds of cattle.
She says she is hopeful of getting good rainfall next month to lead them into summer.

"It's quite dire actually, things are quite dismal to look at the forecasts there's no significant rain on the horizon," she said.

"My husband regularly checks the BOM website and they might predict five to ten mills or up to 20 but in fact we probably could do with four times that amount of rain at the moment just to get us out of trouble."


© ABC 2013

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