Australian Drought Worst in 1000 years December 2006
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Joseph F. Dumond

Joe Started Sightedmoon in 2005 to assist him in spreading his understanding of the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years according to Torah.
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Published: Dec 13, 2006 - (5856)
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Australian Drought Conditions December 2006

Australia's wool harvest is set to dwindle to its lowest in 20 years
An Australian farmer moves sheep through his fields of stunted wheat stalks in the Australian wheat belt area of Wimmera, near Warracknabeal. Australia’s wool harvest is set to dwindle to its lowest in 20 years, industry figures have show, as the nation’s worst drought in a century weighs further on the beleaguered rural community.(AFP/File/William West)

Dried Up Water Hole
Farmers inspect an empty dam in the parched earth of the Australian wheat belt area of Wimmera, northwest of Melbourne. Some areas of Australia have been without significant rainfall for years and figures recently released showed the country’s winter crop was down more than 60 percent on 2005. Farm incomes have also plummetted 70 percent to their lowest levels in more than a decade and Treasurer Peter Costello has warned Australia faces a rural depression if the situation does not improve.(AFP/William West)

Drought Stricken Farmer inspects herds
An Australian farmer inspects his animals in north eastern New South Wales. Some areas of Australia have been without significant rainfall for years and figures released last week showed the country’s winter crop was down more than 60 percent on 2005. Farm incomes have also plummetted 70 percent to their lowest levels in more than a decade and Treasurer Peter Costello has warned that Australia faces a rural depression if the situation does not improve.(AFP/File/David Hancock)

A salt-infested lake
A salt-infested lake can be seen in the drought-effected farming areas along the coastal region of South Australia, 500 kilometers west of Adelaide December 8, 2006. Living in the world’s driest inhabited continent, Australians are used to wild schemes promising deliverance from drought and precious water. But with Government officials saying last month that the drought gripping Australia could be the worst in 1000 years, emergency plans are being drawn up to secure long-term water supplies to towns and cities. Previously it was thought that the drought effecting more than half the country’s farmlands was the worst in just 100 years, and with rivers disappearing and a searing spring, desperate farmers are being asked to pack up and open a ‘new agricultural frontier’ in the tropical north. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA)

Sheep Drinking from shrinking water hole
Sheep drink from a dam in the drought-effected farming areas of the McLaren Vale region in South Australia, 80 kilometers south-east of Adelaide December 8, 2006. Living in the world’s driest inhabited continent, Australians are used to wild schemes promising deliverance from drought and precious water. But with Government officials saying last month that the drought gripping Australia could be the worst in 1000 years, emergency plans are being drawn up to secure long-term water supplies to towns and cities. Previously it was thought that the drought effecting more than half the country’s farmlands was the worst in just 100 years, and with rivers disappearing and a searing spring, desperate farmers are being asked to pack up and open a ‘new agricultural frontier’ in the tropical north. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA)

Cattle Scrounge for Food
Cattle scrounge for fodder amid the morning mist on a drought stricken property near Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, in 2005. The worst drought in a century has slashed Australia’s winter crop by an estimated 62 percent and the summer crop is likely to be down 33 percent, the official rural forecaster said.(AFP/File/Heather Faulkner)

 

Drought devastates Australian crops

Mon Dec 4, 7:38 PM ET

SYDNEY (AFP) – The worst drought in a century has slashed Australia’s winter crop by an estimated 62 percent and the summer crop is likely to be down 33 percent, the official rural forecaster said.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (Abare) estimated grains production for the recently completed southern winter dropped to a 10-year low of 15.5 million tonnes.

“It was the driest August to October period since 1900 across many cropping regions of Australia,” Abare executive director Phillip Glyde said.

“When combined with some of the highest mean maximum temperatures on record, this resulted in a significant decline in winter crop production and has placed summer crops in an uncertain position.”

Abare estimated winter wheat production was down 61 percent to 9.7 million tonnes, with barley dropping 63 percent to 3.7 million tonnes and canola production slumping 71 percent to 426,000 tonnes.

It said below average rainfall and depleted water storage levels on Australia’s east coast meant the area sown for summer crops was down 25 percent, with water-thirsty crops rice and cotton worst affected.

“The lack of irrigation water for rice growing in 2006-07 means the area planted to rice is estimated to be only 20,000 hectares, 81 percent below the area planted last year,” Abare said.

“The area sown to cotton is forecast to be the smallest in 20 years.”

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