Support needed for Fleurieu farmers facing dry autumn

09 Mar 2019

High hay and fodder prices combined with a drier-than-average autumn forecast mean tough times may be ahead for livestock and dairy farmers on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer said it could be time for the Liberal National Government to consider extending full drought support measures and fodder subsidies to farmers in the Fleurieu region and Kangaroo Island.

“Livestock and dairy farmers in our region may not be in drought but it was still a relatively dry 2018, and severe drought in the eastern states has put enormous upward pressure on hay and fodder prices across Australia,” Ms Downer said. “The impacts of drought in the eastern states are very much being felt here in South Australia. Hay prices have essentially tripled in a year. Fodder transport subsidies in the eastern states mean it’s cheaper for a Queensland farmer to get feed from South Australia than our own farmers.

“If the Liberal National Government is prepared to provide up to $2 billion to support the revival of Queensland’s cattle industry, I don’t think it’s at all unreasonable for some support to flow to farmers on the Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island facing a bleak future over the next few months.

“After consulting with livestock and dairy producers in Mayo I’ve written to the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, asking him to consider extending full drought support and providing fodder subsidies for Fleurieu and KI farmers.

“The Liberal National Government is doing a range of positive things for farmers particularly in terms of trade market access, biosecurity and productive infrastructure but these will mean little to producers facing crippling feed prices, low farm gate returns and high input costs. They cannot take advantage of the opportunities being provided if their businesses are not sustainable in the short term, so it’s important they be assisted to get through the next few months.”