Live­stock meet­ing

Gatton Star - - YOUR SAY -

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

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