There are drought areas in WA too

There are drought areas in WA too


We started feeding our Merino sheep in January and have spent our entire wool clip, plus some, on hay and lupins writes Tony Griffiths


I FARM 15 kilometres south of Jerramungup and I am experiencing the driest year on record.

We started feeding our Merino sheep in January and have spent our entire wool clip, plus some, on hay and lupins.

All farmers in this area who run stock have had to sell a third to half of their breeding ewes and some farmers have sold all their wether lambs to try to carry stock through summer.

With only two rain events over 10 millimetres this year, on March 26 of 11mm and July 15 of 14mm, water could become a problem.

Eden`s Creek has kept rainfall records for the past 52 years with 1994 being the worst until now.

We have had only five years under 300mm – 1969, 1970, 1972, 2002, and 2012 – apart from one year under 200mm – 1994 where only 198mm of rain fell.

In comparison, this year to the end of October we have had 165mm, in 1994 until the end of October was 185mm, 1994 until the end of June was 63mm and 2018 until the end of June only 54mm had fallen.

Talk about a dust bowl, this is the windiest year I have ever seen with eight major wind events where the wind was relentless and blew all day above 80 kilometres per hour, you could not see outside.

I had fences fall over as straw was blown out of the paddock, built up on the fence and broke the star pickets.

But I was lucky compared to some farmers down the road whohad their fence lines buried.

Some paddocks need levelling as they are so rough you are battling to drive over them, even dams were hard hit with up to two feet of straw and debris covering the whole dam.

To put things into perspective, Gunnedah, in New South Wales, has had the same amount of rain as Eden`s Creek up to the end of August measuring 133mm.


Gunnedah has received 120mm since September 1 and we have had  40mm.

To clarify,  NSW is 100 per cent drought declared with some poor farmers with less than 100mm up till now – including, Cobar 93mm, Balranald 125mm and Condobolin 148mm just to name a few.

According to some media reports, WA is reported to be having a bumper year, unfortunately this is not the case here and some farmers are a lot worse off than me with only 150mm so far for the year.

No one is looking forward to the disappointments this harvest is going to bring.

Please don’t forget about your own farmers in your own region.



From the front page

Sponsored by