Businesses continue to struggle

Farmers and rural businesses continue to struggle in the Walgett district and there is no end to the drought in sight. File photo

Farmers and rural businesses continue to struggle in the Walgett district and there is no end to the drought in sight. File photo

Farmers and rural businesses continue to struggle in the Walgett district and there is no end to the drought in sight.

Ms Julie Casey, financial counsellor for Central West Rural in Walgett, said farmers were heading into winter with little water, no grass for feed and no potential to plant a winter crop.

"Rural business and primary producers alike are struggling financially, physically and mentally," she said.

She said everyone in the community was feeling "pretty low".

"Spirits are low. Money is short."

The major issue farmers faced was the on-going lack of water.

"At present there is insufficient or no moisture profile to plant winter crops. If the winter crop is not planted it will be the second year of total crop failure for Walgett." she said.

Ms Casey believes if that happened farmers would struggle even more in winter, many would not be able to meet financial commitments and some would be forced to sell up.

"If there is no rain, or follow-up rain, in the next two weeks there will be no feed to take stock through winter," she said.

Businesses in the district would also struggle.

She said most farmers had cut back spending. If there was no winter crop or feed some businesses would struggle to stay afloat through to 2015. Rural and retail businesses depended on sales to primary producers.

"Most have cut overheads to a minimum and laid-off staff," she said.

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