THE custodians of our food bowl are facing unprecedented challenges as they battle unrelenting drought across nearly all of NSW.
The Buy-a-Bale campaign can directly help affected farmers.
Fodder shortages and poor sowing conditions in what has turned out to be the driest first half of the year on record for many parts of the state have left many farmers in a difficult situation.
Even many of those who had early sale plans for their livestock have still been caught due to severity of this season.
The latest figures from the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Drought Hub show almost all of NSW is now in mild to severe drought.
This includes 15.1 per cent of the state is in the intense drought category, 37.9pc is in drought and 46.8pc is classed as drought affected.
Our hard-working farmers need some relief.
The Land has therefore joined forces with Macquarie Radio, which is part of our Fairfax Media network and includes prominent Sydney station 2GB, to spread the word. This initiative started at Maitland and has spread with the drought, raising awareness of the difficulties our farmers face.
The appeal will raise money to buy hay, water, fuel for transport and groceries - which will be distributed through gift cards at the farmer’s nominated supermarket.
That way, the money will go back into the local economy which also suffers during drought.
Workplaces can get involved too and collect funds with a donation barrel or help fill a hay truck.
Businesses can sponsor a hay truck and have their banner displayed on the back of the truck.
Fairfax Media’s Agricultural Publishing managing editor, Brad Cooper, said supporting the Buy A Bale initiative was a way for The Land to give back to the readers they serve.
"Every day our journalists, many of whom work and live in communities impacted by drought, tell the heartbreaking stories of producers and their families doing it tough in the face of extreme weather events," he said.
"Part of our service is to bring attention from key decision makers to the issue, but it's also satisfying that we're able to help in a real and tangible way to deliver immediate help where it is needed most."
For anybody working through the drought day-to-day, send us some photos of what your situation is to @thelandnewspaper or Instagram us on @thelandnews
- To donate, or register for assistance, go to buyabale.com.au
- If you are concerned about your own or somebody else’s mental health, you can contact the NSW Mental Health Line, 1800 011 511; Lifeline, 13 11 14; or Beyond Blue, 1300 224 636.