Rain brings optimism for drought-plagued Aussie farmers
Tamworth: The coronavirus has brought new challenges for Australia’s drought and bushfire-stricken farmers, but recent sustained rainfall and green shoots are now spurring hope of better times ahead.
Kevin Tongue eyes his field in the country’s water-deprived southeast as lambs pick at fresh blades of grass finally punching their way through the soil.
“The turnaround from where we were 12 months ago…” Tongue told AFP. “It was barren.”
“What we’ve got now mate is just amazing, the way the country has responded to that rain.”
The worst drought in living memory created years of pain for rural Australia -- farms went to the wall, towns ran dry, and land lay fallow.
But around the city of Tamworth -- five hours drive from Sydney -- recent rainfall and predictions of above average levels to come may be enough to ensure the community’s survival, even through the global virus pandemic.
“We just don’t want to get carried away, you know, there’s a long way to go to harvest, and Mother Nature can turn around very quickly,” said Tongue.
Still, farmers like him are for the first time in a long while confident enough to plant crops. - AFP