New England-North West farmers are battling a crippling drought and they need your help to survive it.
The Northern Daily Leader, Namoi Valley Independent, Country Leader - rural, North West Magazine - rural, Armidale Express, Inverell Times, Guyra Argus, Moree Champion, Tenterfield Star, Walcha News, Border News - rural, The Land and Glen Innes Examiner have joined forces with the charity Rural Aid and its Buy A Bale campaign to help New England-North West farmers as they fight to survive the challenging conditions.
These Fairfax Media mastheads have also united with sister newspapers across the state to launch a NSW drought petition, which urges the state government to offer farmers relief on the cost of freight, fodder, water and Local Land Service rates as well as offer the collection of livestock genetics, and restocking/replanting loans after the drought breaks.
More than 70 per cent of the North West, which includes Tamworth, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Walgett - and the Gwydir, Moree Plains and Liverpool Plains local government areas - is in drought or at the onset of drought according to the state government’s Combined Drought Indicator.
This system looks at rainfall, soil moisture and pasture growth.
Take a look at the North West
On top of that, 29.4 per cent of this region is classified as borderline and likely to dip towards drought given the Bureau of Meterology’s forecast.
It’s a similar story across the Northern Tablelands – which includes Armidale, Uralla, Walcha, Glenn Innes, Inverell and Tenterfield.
Take a look at the Northern Tablelands
More than 41 per cent of the region is in drought or at the onset of drought, and 58.3 per cent is borderline and also likely to move towards drought.
The unfolding situation has left paddocks full of dust, water resources dry or drying up and fodder being sourced from as far as South Australia at exorbitant freight costs.
Managing Editor NSW Central Chad Watson said the Fairfax Media mastheads had united to help make a difference.
Farming is such an important part of the New England and North West. We are partnering with Rural Aid to help the farmers who have been hit hard by the drought,
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said hay trucks were already being organised to bring some relief to drought-stricken farmers.
Want to know more?
Take a look at the NSW drought with this interactive map
Press the + button to zoom in and then click on the suns to look at pictures from across the state.
READ ABOUT HOW THE DROUGHT IS AFFECTING THE STATE:
- Kangaroos looking for feed adding to farmers' woes during the drought
- Turnbull drought tour: NFF president Fiona Simson's views
- New England councils call for state funding to help with drought
- Farmer toiletries in the ‘thousands’
- Harry’s birthday wish was for much-needed rain
- Loomberah farmers dinner a 'heartwarming event’
- WIRES inundated with calls and rescues as drought takes toll on wildlife
- Men of League offer drought support