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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

‘Fix cruelty problems or lose live export trade’: candidate

CATTLE TRADE: Senate candidate Rowell Walton says the federal government must act on live export cruelty to save the Australian cattle industry nationally.

End cruelty or lose live export trade: candidate

Voter wants his plebiscite

Wide Bay candidates were asked to state their position on marriage equality.

Letter writer wants his say on marriage equality

Our cancer patients have been left behind

Marlene Owen at the SCIC chemo units in Gympie.

THIS is a story about two cancer patients.

Latest deals and offers

living

Living promo

Q150 launch

Q150 launch in gympie.

Telstra

Small business angry at Telstra at no phone line for 14 days.

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"