The fight against drought
Australia is experiencing one of the worst droughts in nearly a century. The entire state of New South Wales (NSW) — which has the highest population in the country — has been affected by the lack of rain.
Arid conditions mean that grass is no longer growing normally. As a result, some farmers are chopping branches off trees to feed their livestock. Cattle and sheep are dangerously underweight and many are being slaughtered because their owners cannot feed and water them.
The NSW state government has responded with A$ 500 million (€317 million) in aid, including funding for mental health programmes. But critics say it’s not enough. “Farmers are past the point of subsidies and loans,” cattle farmer Rob Aitken told The New York Times. In this Reuters photo, farmer Ash Whitney throws hay to cattle from the back of his truck.