The numbers are difficult to judge, but members of Agforce have estimated losses in the region of 40,000 sheep, mostly in areas south of Julia Creek.
Queensland is a state where sheep numbers had been dwindling, in many cases due to wild dogs. The advent of cluster fencing has seen numbers start to defy the drought-affected figures in the rest of Australia and actually rise.
Queensland has been one of the few bright spots in sheep numbers during 2018.
Sheep Producers Australia appreciates the sheep industry will not suffer the magnitude of loss and difficulty the cattle industry currently faces, but this does not mean the organisation has forgotten sheep producers in the Queensland.
Contact has been maintained with Agforce and offers made to assist wherever possible. As far as SPA has observed, the emergency response has been very well done and naturally there has been no thought of what industry a producer is involved in, the assistance has been made available to all affected parties.
With the number of sheep in Australia being reduced by approximately 5 million over the past year due to drought conditions, this is another blow to the industry, ironically from an extreme rain event.
The good sheep and lamb prices have at least been of assistance to producers destocking due to drought.
Obviously, this is not the case for those affected by flood, and must be viewed as a completely different type of natural disaster.
Emergency measures are being very well handled by Agforce and SPA will continue to take advice on what is needed in the longer term to get producers back on their feet.
© 2021 Sheep Producers Australia