I FULLY support the Lockyer Valley Regional Council’s initiative to hold a Livestock Farming Drought Support Forum on September 22.
However, is this initiative too little too late? Many of my fellow Lockyer Valley livestock farmers have been advocating to council since early 2018 for some much needed support. To date, this has fallen on deaf ears.
Farmers across the Valley have run out of water and pasture for livestock. Their money has run out, too.
Trying to buy scarce fodder, grain and waste vegetables is becoming increasingly difficult.
If there is no good rain by October, I know of many livestock farmers who will sell off their entire herds and their expertise, skills and genetic breeding programs will be lost forever.
The national herd size is diminishing rapidly and the kill rate for female cattle is at an all-time high. When the rains come and times improve, many will not have sufficient money to re-enter livestock farming. The price of good breeders will go through the roof and consumers will feel the effects in supermarkets across the country.
Farmers don’t want handouts but we do need financial and emotional assistance to get through these challenging times. Many of us have previously suggested to council that they provide some rate relief, access to free water, green waste from council clean-ups, and set up a web page where growers with excess feed can advertise and farmers needing this feed can contact them.
Goulbourn Council provided a $700 voucher to drought-affected farmers, to be spent in local shops, to improve that region’s economy. Others are also supporting their farmers with various forms of assistance. This forum cannot be another talkfest! We need urgent outcomes.
— C Becker, Ropeley