News

Life is getting tougher by the day for farmers

COST OF LIVING: Ethan Carter feeds the family’s blonde d’aquitaine bull at Widgee, where times are tough and getting tougher.
COST OF LIVING: Ethan Carter feeds the family’s blonde d’aquitaine bull at Widgee, where times are tough and getting tougher. Renee Pilcher

THE Carter family of Widgee is like so many rural families struggling through the drought - there are just not enough hours in the day.

Hay is becoming increasingly scarce and almost impossible to get hold of locally.

It is not cheap, and is getting more expensive as the drought endures.

The Carters made a lifestyle choice many years ago to live at Widgee and run cattle.

Jo's husband works away in the mines and Jo at the Widgee school.

Her 17-year-old son Ethan helps run the 100ha family farm, as well as working at the Daddamarine cattle property at Booubyjan.

Despite the hardship of the drought, Ethan still loves being a farmer and hopes to be able to do it always.

The drought has hit the Carters hard, but Jo is quick to point out that it has hit other families much harder.

The Carters have almost no feed for their 70 head of droughtmaster and droughtmaster-cross, but at least they have water.

Every day when Jo arrives home from work, she and her children round up a paddock of their cattle and take them out to the road reserve to graze until nightfall.

"To try to buy feed locally now is almost impossible," she says.

"We have to go a long way to get it.

"The closest I could get it (last time) was Kumbia.

"Most people who are doing hay now have sold before they even have it baled.

"There is just not enough to go around so it's very expensive."

A round bale of grassy lucerne costs about $170, and is enough to feed about six head for a week.

Trying to offload cattle at market is getting tougher with the worsening glut.

The official report from the Gympie pig and calf sale this week said "a large offering of 705 saw the market much cheaper for all descriptions".

That is putting it mildly.

Dairy calves sold for as little as $2 per calf on Monday, and the highest price was $10 a calf.

Prime calves, two to six weeks old, sold for as little as $12 each.

It would barely be enough to cover the cost of petrol to get them into town.

Bookings are closed for the next two cattle sales, and anyone wanting to consign calves is asked to contact Sullivan Livestock and Rural Services first.

Gympie Times

Topics:  drought editors picks farming



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

You're too predicta-Bill

Nothing better describes Bill Shorten than his response to the 11th hour result concerning the Backpackers Tax, according to Colin Claridge.

Cynical and predictable, that's what Colin thinks of Labor

Stuck for Secret Santa ideas? There are plenty in Gymipie

LOVING THE LOCALS: Euphoria owner Lynn Wake has a number of secret Santa ideas.

Scott answers the age-old question: What to buy for secret Santa?

The Kandanga Hotel comes back from the ashes

TAKING SHAPE: Doug Greensill standing where the start of the new Kandanga pub will stand.

A year after the fire, the new Kandanga Hotel takes shape.

Local Partners

End-of-year break-up for OWN

GUNABUL Homestead was the place to be for 62 members of the Older Women's Network on December 1.


Your definitive Gympie guide to school holiday fun

HANDS ON: Get the chance to create your own clay animals at the Gympie Regional Gallery.

Check out the amazing things to do over the school holidays.

GARAGE SALES: Where to grab a bargain this weekend

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Take a look at these treasure troves

Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

The apple and the worm

Gympie journalist Arthur Gorrie.

Progress leaps along, so let's look first

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!