Demand for fodder still high, despite rain

HAY DROP: Rural Aid has provided a series of hay drops over several weeks in South Australia. Picture: Supplied

Rain across four states has failed to dampen demand for fodder to feed drought affected livestock.

Rural Aid chief executive officer John Warlters said the sigh of relief from farmers who received rain in the past week was almost audible such was the desperation of some; none more so than producers in south-western West Australia where the region had experienced its driest conditions on record.

“This rain could not have come at a better time given the circumstances producers had in front of them,” he said.

“But we don’t expect the demand for fodder, or the challenge in sourcing it, to change in the short to medium term.”

The challenge was still ahead of many farming families whose enterprises had received only light relief and where still hoping for more rain in coming weeks.

Large parts of Victoria remained especially dry – rainfall during autumn had been in the lowest 10 per cent of records for the south-west, and parts of the west, north-east and East Gippsland.

South Australia had enjoyed some relief with falls on average of between five to 15mm but remained parched.

“Rural Aid continues to be active right across the country at this time providing hay for livestock, drinking water, and financial relief,” Mr Warlters said.

“Our counsellors are particularly active in providing one-on-one support, but are also attending a wide cross-section of industry events to ensure they are visible and easily accessible to anyone that wants to chat.”

In the past month, Rural Aid had coordinated 29 fodder drops across the country.

Western Australia

Rural Aid, funded in part by the WA government, had delivered stockfeed, hay, water tanks, emergency household drinking water and counselling support, including connecting with farmers and families in the south west at drought resilience events at Yornup and Manjimup.

South Australia

A series of hay drops over multiple weeks were scheduled, the most recent at Quorn on Monday, June 3.

Further drops at Quorn were planned for coming weeks pending further rain and continuing access to fodder.


Rural Aid counsellors continued to provide wellbeing support while discussions with industry continued regarding how Rural Aid could best support farmers above and beyond its “traditional” service delivery.


Producers impacted by bushfires in late 2023 across the Southern and Western Darling Downs were being supported with hay and counselling.

In addition, 30 volunteers recently spent a week working on nine properties in and around Tara.

Mr Warlters said Rural Aid relied heavily on community and corporate support to fund its activities and was encouraging tax-time donations to help sustain its efforts.

“With June 30 just around the corner now is an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation in support of Rural Aid and ‘our mates in the bush’ – the farming families that need our help,” he said.