Dry continues to bite Tasmanian farmers on east coast

Dry continues to bite Tasmanian farmers on east coast


Made in Tasmania
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Jack Cotton’s grass may look green, but there’s no substance to it.

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Jack Cotton’s grass may look green, but there’s no substance to it.

The Swansea, Tasmania, superfine wool producer is one of many producers on the east-coast of the state being impacted by the current drought.

In an annual rainfall zone of 640 millimetres, so far this year he’s only seen 250mm fall on his ‘Kelvedon’ property.

“They usually say when you get three failed seasons in a row, you’re in drought, and we’ve had three of those,” he said.

Since autumn, he has destocked over 1000 surplus sheep, bringing his flock number down to 7000.

“Normally you’d sell surplus sheep in the autumn, but if you had a good season, you would keep them on and shear them, but we haven’t been able to do that this year,” he said.

He said the current dry conditions were not unprecedented, with previous droughts in the mid 2000s and even in 2013-15 having crippled his operation more, but he was still struggling.

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