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"The Drought"

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Two years ago, Australia had yet another in a yearly cycle of droughts. For some reason, this rarely affects South Australia (the driest state in the driest continent of the world). But we “copped” (were on the receiving end of) it that year. The rain came late, and the seeds sprouted. The rains left, and the crops were either total failures, or farmers reaped extremely poor yields. This was devastating nationally to livestock owners. Since we had no hay crops, farmers started to feed their stock baled hay very early in the year. The cattle and sheep farmers either sold or slaughtered what they couldn't economically support. The horse people for the most part paid premium prices for feed. Even my feed provider had to ration what hay he got, and for a while he ran out of lucerne (alfalfa). I can remember waking up at night, worrying about having enough to feed my own horses, let alone the hospitalized horses. Many people went to the wall over this. There were starving horses everywhere, and people were feeding fodder that was not made for horses.

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