Dec 30 2014

I think we’re headed for a drought in NSW

The paddock next to the house. Brown on top but still green underneathAccording to Doc we’re in for a spell of dry weather at the farm.

“A spell of dry weather” is country bloke talk for “drought”, and apparently the signs are there.

this tree was covered with leaves this time last yearSign number 1 – this tree has no leaves in summer

When I was here by myself at this time last year the ground was brown. Very brown. With very little feed for the cattle. Yet this tree was beautifully green. So green in fact that the cows came and munched the leaves because there was little else for them to eat. This year, although there’s plenty of green on the ground amongst the brown, there are no leaves on this tree. Doc has been told by an old farmer that that’s a sure sign of a big dry spell coming

Of course, it could just be that the tree is dying, but I’ll trust Doc on this one. He’s usually right about things like this.

Sign number 2 – the farm manager is getting in lots of feed for the stock

When we drove in the other day there were a couple of paddocks sown with feed for the cattle, and a huge pile of hay ready to be buried for silage. Last year when the ground all looked dead there was nowhere near this amount of feed being stockpiled. People who live with it know.

Storm coming. All noise and wind - no real rainSign number 3 – storms that amount to nothing

For the last 2 days we’ve had signs of major storms. Big black clouds have come over, prompting us city folk to run out and bring everything inside. Yet the rain hasn’t been enough to settle the dust. Really, I have no idea whether this is a sign of drought or not, perhaps the storm has just missed us, but it happened so I’m adding it in anyway.

So I’m calling it now. I don’t know how far reaching it’s going to be, but there’s a drought coming in rural NSW. Lest you think that doesn’t affect you – this is where your food comes from before it hits the supermarket.

sheep heading out to the paddock next to the house

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