Why Australia’s sheep farmers are in crisis I FT

Why Australia’s sheep farmers are in crisis I FT


Iron ore and coal exports
fuel modern Australia, but for more than 100 years the
economy was supported by wool. Australia’s Merino sheep
produce the best type for making clothing. However, Australia’s sheep
farming industry is in crisis. A two-year drought has
seen sheep numbers fall to their lowest
level in a century. I’d have to rank it the worst
I’ve ever experienced here, and in my previous role as
a farm owner and manager on property at Condoblin. I’ve seen droughts
before, of course, but never that have
gone on as long as this, and been so dry over a large
area with nowhere to go. No rain means no grass
for sheep to eat, forcing farmers to buy feed. For some, the
situation has got so bad they’ve been forced to
sell their wool producing sheep as meat. The sharp fall in
sheep numbers is a problem for the
whole industry; farmers, brokers and
exporters in Australia; and the processors which
are mostly in China. And now the long-term
sustainability of the industry is coming under scrutiny,
particularly given Australia’s vulnerability
to extreme weather events due to climate change. If our numbers get to
a critical low, which I believe they’re
at the moment, when we see a national flock of
24m breeding Merino ewes, I think we’re getting to a level
where it won’t be sustainable. We will not be able to
reproduce our numbers and grow this flock once
this drought breaks. The Pooginook stud,
where they specialise in breeding the best
animals, recently enjoyed some much needed rain. That has provided hope
that farmers may soon be able to replenish their
flocks, but most of the country is still gripped by drought. Until it breaks, the future
of one of Australia’s oldest industries hangs by a thread.

14 comments on “Why Australia’s sheep farmers are in crisis I FT

  1. This type of news is kind of censored in Australia, we always hear about how good education sector and mineral sector are working, but we never hear about farming are dying because of droughts and tourism are dying because of bleaching reefs

  2. But why can’t you ask Israel for help in converting sea water to ordinary water, pump it across the land and using irrigation watering water the pasturelands, YOU GOTTA FIND A SOLUTION GUYS

  3. But we gotta look after the sheep because the world needs the wool, I’m also vegan so don’t believe in slaughtering and eating animals

  4. Sheep aren't indigenous to Australia, it maybe that the climate there no longer favours them as an industry, & sheep farmers need to convert economically to some other farming activity nearer the coasts where there's water, & abandon the interior. One look at Oz on Google maps shows that the interior is arid, & doesn't favour habitation by mammals.

  5. It's ironic that the Australian govt is dominated by climate change deniers who subsidise the coal industry, and ignore the advice of scientists.

  6. Australia you got to hold a motion there you can't pipe reverse osmosis you can't pipe ocean water separated huge ocean water hydrogen 32:1 1 gallon hydrogen is compared to 30 gallons of gasoline. Build yourself a pipeline quit bringing in all these black communist from Africa and Muslims Free Ride for everybody except white Christians too many damn liberals too much Green Party. You can't you couldn't create solar panels solar fields create a nutritionally water pumps Steel

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