Farmers on Tasmania’s east coast who dug deep to help those struggling in drought on the mainland are now facing their own catastrophe, with feed prices climbing and rainfall in some areas yet to even reach the lowest on record.
The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association said there was “no doubt” some properties were in drought, and some farmers may be in need of financial assistance.
On Steph Brouder’s cattle and sheep property near Cranbrook, only two of 20 waterholes are holding any water.
“The east coast is always dry, but for the last five years we’ve had half our annual rainfall,” Ms Brouder said.
“2014 was the driest on record in 118 years, and this year we’ve still got about 45 millimetres to go before we reach that record,” she said.
Ms Brouder is paying about $550 per tonne for sheep pellets, and has destocked about two-thirds of her animals.
“Normally we’d be just be buying some grain and supplement feeding,” she said.
“But now we’re basically in full-on drought feeding.