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The Smell of Death

Not a pleasant topic.But a reality as each day dawns, with blue skies, fluffy white clouds and no rain, not a drop.

Our rainfall for 2017 was 400mm, about half of our average so despite all the measures we have instituted on our farm, the drought has bitten hard.

We have sent cattle off to agistment for the first time; we have been feeding from the hydroponic shed and we have been buying very expensive semi loads of hay and feeding every day.

But as we drive out with the utes loaded with feed, every day there is the sight of yet another cow, sitting down and struggling to get up.They lean forward on their knees, shake and then subside. Often there is a calf standing nearby, just watching.

We  know that when we come back tomorrow, she will be dead or close to it and one of us may have to shoot her.

This unrelenting drought causes all of us pain and distress. Our valley has given us so many good seasons, but it has forgotten how to rain and our land is brown, barren and thirsty.

Even when it does rain, it will take months before our native grasses and feed recover.

It is a lesson in resilience and stoicism.