RECORD TEMPERATURES across Victoria's north last weekend laid waste to the state's wheat crops. Temperatures as high as 34 celsius at Swan Hill, in the state's north, and strong winds, destroyed cropping areas across the Mallee, Wimmera and north-east, ending hopes that farmers could recover from the drought this year. The northern irrigation districts remain on historically low September water allocations of between zero and six per cent. A combination of high temperatures and close to no rainfall has meant that hundreds of farmers have now reached the point of no return. "Low irrigation allocations will make it increasingly difficult for the Victorian horticulture and dairy industries to continue production over the summer months. The chips are down."
Farmers Say Drought Is Worst They've Seen
The Pulaski County beef producers have never seen anything like the droughts of '07 and '08. “It’s real bad. It's the worst I've ever seen it.” Case in point...normally cattle would have plenty of pasture grass to eat until winter. Now they're munching on hay, that's usually reserved for the winter months. “It means it's going to be a long winter.Could be hard pressed to find hay." A lot of farmers are now going on nearly a month without significant rainfall. There's been only one cutting of hay, not enough to get cattle through the winter. And with the economy in a serious tailspin, some don't know what they're going to do. “Increasing fuel costs, fertilizer, and feed costs. It's changing the way agriculture is.”