The Drought – from our Boarders’ Perspective
My name is Eliza and I am from the central west of NSW in a place called Bobadah. My family and I live on a 57,000 acre property where we have Merino sheep and we grow wheat and oat crops. The drought has had a significant effect on my family’s income from sheep and crops. We haven’t been able to harvest a crop since 2016.
This drought has really affected our farm. We have fed out all our stored fodder and have been buying fodder since December from as far as South Australia and Victoria. Our sheep numbers are down by at least 40%. So far this year we have received 60ml of rain, when usually by this time we would have had around 300ml. Because of this little amount of rain, we must cart water to our house and to some paddocks.
My small community was fortunate enough to receive drought relief packages from the Ku-ring-gai Netball Association and the Berowra APEX Club last weekend. They delivered water, dog biscuits and grocery items which was extremely generous and gave everyone a well needed boost. Everyone was so thankful at the effort made for the Bobadah community. It is great to see such lovely caring people helping the farming communities in need. It has shown us that we aren’t going through this on our own.
Eliza Harley, Year 10
My name is Caitlin and I live 40kms from the small town of Gulargambone NSW, which is 115kms north-west of Dubbo. In total we own 1900 acres of land, on which we run sheep and grow crops, however this year our crops of wheat and barley have nearly all perished. They were sown dry as a large rain event was predicted, however it didn’t eventuate. The crops are just poking out of the ground, but without a decent rainfall soon they will not be worth harvesting. The other problem we are having is the huge number of kangaroos, since it’s so dry, they are coming in from western areas, eating the crops and the sheep feed we have left.
Our sheep are surviving because mum and dad are hand feeding wheat and hay from a frosted canola crop last year. They have sold some sheep so now we are down to our core breeding flock. Feed is quite expensive now as most farmers are feeding their remaining livestock.
My dad grew up on a neighbouring property and has lived in this area his entire life and he says that it’s the driest he has ever experienced. 2018 will be only the second year in three generations and the first since 1965 that our family will not harvest a crop.
Living over 500kms from home has to be the hardest factor for me. Coming home in the holidays was a massive shock to my brothers and I as we had no idea exactly how dry it really was. However, living with others who are experiencing the same struggles helps me, knowing that my family and our community are not the only ones doing it tough during this drought.
Caitlin Spora, Year 10