Toongi Pastoral Company (TPC) has got rid of its sheep and given up on winter cropping after “possibly the driest six months since records have been kept”.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of multi-commodity miner and explorer Alkane Resources considers it likely that it will need to start supplementary feeding of pregnant cows and heifers as they approach calving.
The drought is being felt on almost 2000 hectares of agricultural land near Alkane Resources’ Dubbo Project, 25 kilometres south of Dubbo. The land is part of 3500 hectares of freehold and leasehold land secured by Alkane Resources at Toongi.
In its latest Dubbo Project community newsletter, Alkane Resources tells of challenging farming conditions resulting from only 73.4 millimetres of rain in the first half of 2018, representing 20 per cent of long-term average rainfall.
“Supplementary lick has been supplied to cattle as they have rotated around the 99 paddocks,” it reads.
On a brighter note, the newsletter reveals that the TPC farm water supply project completed in March has markedly improved water management.
“Darling Irrigation designed the system of pipes and troughs that allows the water from three existing bores, on Ugothery, Toongi Valley and Pacific Hill, to be distributed strategically to whichever of TPC’s 99 paddocks contain livestock,” it reads.
“This is much better than relying on farm dams, many of which have dried up over the prolonged dry, and has allowed better utilisation of pasture across the property.”