Devastating flooding in Queensland’s northwest is feared to have killed about 500,000 cattle and left farmers with estimated costs of $5 billion – but most is not covered by insurance. The Cattle Council of Australia says the full extent of losses is difficult to calculate, but feedback from affected properties suggests more than 500,000 animals have died.
Farmers in Queensland's north-west are helpless as their cattle, some bogged in waterlogged paddocks, starve to death by the hundreds. More than 1000 livestock are expected to perish and the situation has become so desperate the military will drop fodder into isolated homesteads that have become islands in the wake of record rain.
Summer temperatures in the southeast states of Australia can hit 40C or more, then drop dramatically and rapidly as cold fronts roll in. These temperature extremes are a challenge for people and beasts alike. One common finding during summer, particularly in young stock such as weaners, is pneumonia. The disease can be difficult to identify in livestock because early signs are subtle — a reduced feed intake and mildly increased breathing rate.
Australia's west coast is facing hot, dry weather over the next three months, the country's bureau of meteorology said on Thursday (Jan 31), denting the outlook for wheat production in the world's fourth largest exporter. There is only a 20 per cent chance that the state of Western Australia will receive average rainfall between Feb 1 and Apr 30, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said in its latest three-month outlook.
Far fewer strawberries are to be planted in Perth this year, after growers took an estimated $12 million hit on income last season because of the needle sabotage crisis. WA Strawberry Growers Association spokesman Jamie Michael said the exact reduction in plantings won’t be known for a few more weeks when growers in the area start to lay plastic on the ground, ahead of plantings to start in late March. “However a lot of growers, including ourselves, will be reducing how much we plant,” he said.
Australia is experiencing a slightly unsteady market at the moment, and circumstances could soon become even more unstable. The nation appears to be set for yet another year of persistent drought. A lack of rain wiped out the profits of many farmers last year. The federal government had to dip into allocated savings to reimburse farmers who lost out on any chance of bumper crops as the climate continues to grow warmer.
IT was a record breaking week for the Kwinana zone last week with 7.7 million tonnes of grain delivered so far for the harvest season. The zone received about 350,000 tonnes last week pushing it past the previous grain receival record of 7.5mt. This takes total receivals to 15.7mt up to last Friday. "Yields have been higher than anticipated across most parts of the Kwinana zone after a favourable season, leading to a record-breaking harvest for the zone," CBH Operations acting general manager Ben Raisbeck said.
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