How long do we have to wait for rain?
The cry of the embittered farmer who is holding on against all odds.
With another reported ‘farmer suicide’ because of the drought making news headlines and TV documentary’s focusing on ‘the drought’ across Queensland, life is sure sounding miserable for the people of the land. But this is wrong………..the media has their story wrong.
It is not the drought that’s causing the biggest problem for our farmers. It’s lack of money for their produce. Australian beef is cheap! Too cheap! It’s as simple as that.
If Australian farmers were being paid a fair price for their beef then they would be making a profit, enabling drought strategies to be put in place on their properties but while third world countries can afford to buy Australian beef there is no hope for the Australian producer to make a profit nor be able to afford to put drought strategies in place on their properties.
There is no fat in the good times to put aside for the lean times. A Basic business principle for business survival.
How can this be? We are the country of clean green pasture fed beef, healthy animals with exceptional beef carcasses that are of excellent eating quality, animals that have been carefully selected over the years by producers of great skill and love for their produce and yet all of those years are wasted, time is wasted, skills are wasted, generations of livelihood’s…..gone.
The joy of working together with your children in the family farming business gone. The family farm is going, going, gone!
Why? Australian farmers are not making a profit, cattle including breeding stock are being sold off at prices that cut the hearts of the people who produce them.
Prices so low producers can’t afford to truck the cattle to the saleyards or meatworks as they are not even covering their transport costs with the prices they are receiving let alone covering their mustering and daily running costs of their farms.
The beef is sold through the saleyards/meatworks, then sold through the middle man (supermarket, butcher) then sold to the consumer. The consumer pays a shelf price that has not decreased over recent times but the producer’s income has been slashed and they are paid a pittance for their product. Who is keeping the difference of monies in their pocket? It doesn’t take Einstein to figure this one out! The middle-man marketing machine, they are making a killing at the moment with beef so cheap to buy and yet they are able to sell the beef retail without a price reduction that reflects the wholesale price the producer is receiving.
How are the Australian farmers going to survive? Unless the price for our produce increases to a sustainable level that allows a good profit to be made from each beast being sold then put simply they will not survive.
Many farmers have made the entrepreneurial decision to get off-farm work just to put food on the table for their families. People are operating in survival mode now, living day to day, depression an ever increasing reality for our farming families. Suicide rates are ever increasing with the reality of loss before the man of the land’s every waking moment of every day whilst he’s hoping to hold on until the prices increase. How will the farming families survive the financial burden? How long can they wait?
The drought has just exacerbated the issue, it is not the cause of the issue.
Beware the Black Dog!!! Don’t let it bite
PS: all paintings shown are sold except Ghost Rider