Dale Appleton believes the current drought is one of the worst he's ever witnessed.
Dale Appleton believes the current drought is one of the worst he's ever witnessed. Contributed

Tough times ahead: Drought turns life into hell for farmers

CATTLE producer Dale Appleton believes it's been one of the driest seasons he's ever seen and worries some farmers will have to keep mentally strong to carry them through some tough times.

"I think this drought is constant; I remember the drought as a kid in 1969 and this is right up there with that one," the former Isaac Regional Councillor said.

He says many primary producers out his way have had to deal with putting down livestock and believes many cattle producers will not have an easy road ahead.

"There's a significant amount of cattle that have had to be killed while the torture and the pain for the farmers themselves is worse than any other natural disaster," he said.

"There's no easy road with this drought and you never know when it's going to end."

Mr Appleton believes the region's farmers need to spend more time working together and finding ways to minimise the impact of the next major drought.

"When this drought goes we need to be working in front of the next one but any assistance the government can give will support a range of primary producers," he said.

The latest drought situation map released by the State Government shows 90.3% of the Isaac region has been drought declared, 89.9% of Whitsunday and 57.4% of the entire state.

Mr Appleton says the drought crisis will get much worse for many farmers if they don't receive rain by spring, however he urges farmers to keep their heads up.

"Hopefully we can get a storm over spring but if we don't things won't look good at all, you can never give up in this job because next fortnight it could rain, you'll never know," he said.

This view is also shared by Mirani MP Stephen Andrew, who believes farmers need to always have a drought plan in place to minimise the possible consequences.

"Farmers need to come together through industry networking that will enable them to strengthen connections and implement fundamental disaster management plans," Mr Andrew said.

The Mirani MP is also urging community members that have blocks of land to donate a bale and help out the farmers who are in desperate need.

"I'm calling out to all of those who that have a block of land to donate a bale or two and I'm exploring the opportunity of turning cane trash and left over crop into feed," he said.

Mr Andrew applauded businesses around the region jumping on board the drought relief efforts.

"It is fantastic to see that every day Australians are pulling up their socks and doing all they can to help drought stricken farmers keep afloat across the country, with initiatives like those at local watering holes digging in "Parma for a Farmer", the Bunnings drought relief sausage sizzle drives, even the numbers are growing of local businesses jumping on board to offer certain amounts of donations on all products sold to go towards farmers and drought relief," he said.

Is your business participating in drought relief efforts? Email the newsroom and let us know: news@dailymercury.com.au


Some of the local businesses participating in Parma for a Farmer:

Pinnacle Family Hotel, $2 from every parmy sold in August

Mother's Pantry, this Wednesday to Saturday only, $2.50 donated from every parmy sold

The Hotel Eton, $1 donated for every parmy sold during August

Langford's Hotel, $2 donated for every parmy sold during August

West Leagues Club Mackay, $1 donated from every parmy during August

Kinchant Waters, $2 donated from every parmy during August

Laffo's Pizza at Claudies Mackay, $1 donated from every parmy during August

Sarina RSL is doing Parma for a Farmer starting today. Lunch parmy and chips - $12 with $2 going to the farmers

Kuttabul Hotel: $2 from every parmy sold

Calen Hotel: $1 from every parmy sold to Buy a Bale