Drought-hit Australian farmers to kill kangaroos

Harry Taylor plays with the bones of dead livestock on his family farm

The NSW Government has also doubled its funding commitments to struggling farmers with a total of A$1 billion pledged towards the growing crisis.

An old dead tree lies like a skeleton on the scorched earth in a property located to the west of Tamworth, a rural (and country music) center in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Some exhausted graziers spend hours each day hand-feeding their stock because the ground is too dry for grass to grow. Others have been forced to shoot starving cattle.

The drought has hit farmers particularly hard, with crop, water, and fodder shortages putting their livelihoods at risk.

What is drought and when is it declared?

Conditions are similarly dire in Queensland to the north, where the state government says almost 60 percent of land is suffering drought conditions.


With farmers facing ruin, the national government stepped in last weekend, pledging a A$190 million package of immediate relief measures.

4 Many of Australia's southeast districts are struggling with drought. "Despite this large natural variability, underlying longer-term trends are evident in some regions, and these are likely to be climate change related". "We recognise that. It's a very volatile and often capricious climate and Australian farmers are resilient, they plan for drought, they are good managers but it can become really overwhelming", said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"We are the land of droughts and flooding rains".

The federal and NSW state governments are providing more than A$1.5 billion (S$1.52 billion) in drought relief packages, created to offset the cost of feed and freight, and increase access to mental health services for farmers feeling the strain.

Across Southern Australia, 2018 saw the second-driest autumn on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with rainfall 57mm (2.24in) below average, with less than 10mm of rain was recorded in parts of NSW in July, and drier than normal conditions are forecast in coming months, as reported by the BBC.

James (left) and Harrison O'Brien feed grain to hungry calves at the family's drought-ravaged farm in Five Ways in the middle of NSW.

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