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Big Dry takes toll on Australia's farmers


May 22, 2007

Malcolm Adlington has been farming his land for over 30 years and never has he known it so bad.
His should have been a rich inheritance: a dairy farm close to the mighty Murray River on some of the finest pasture land which Australia has to offer.
But then came the "Big Dry" - the most severe drought in a century.
"Normally at this time of the year the paddocks would be green, and the grass would be six or eight inches high, and we'd have more feed than the cows can do with.
"Now it looks like scrubland," says Malcolm, wearily. "It's useless."
Recently, he's had to sell off two-thirds of his herd and is saddled with so much debt that he's going to have to put his farm on the market.
He can barely afford the straw to feed his bony cattle.

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