Rob Taylor reports in The Wall Street Journal that the long dry spell in Australia is putting farmers at risk of going completely out of business. He writes:
A severe drought has gripped an area of Australia more than twice the size of Texas, turning normally fertile crop areas into dust bowls, draining water reserves and leaving wine-producing regions parched. Hungry kangaroos are turning up in cities.
Millions of dollars of farm equipment is idle across vast expanses of agricultural land in the continent’s east, and farmers are wondering if they should bother planting summer crops.
“There’s not a blade of grass, not even a vestige or shoot. It’s dirt,” said Carolyn Fretwell, a rancher whose family has grazed cattle and sheep on the plains near Coonabarabran, 300 miles northwest of Sydney, for 80 years.
They have used all their stocks of hay, so to feed their animals the family now trucks in sugar cane and cotton from about 700 miles away. “We’ve lived through droughts, but this is the first we’ve had to feed the stock 100%,” she said.
Read more here.