Hay arrives in Cowell following benefit concert

Rural Aid hay donation hits Cowell

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Five road trains of hay have arrived in the Cowell district as farmers battle a tough summer keeping their stock fed.

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Five road trains of hay have arrived in the Cowell district as farmers battle a tough summer keeping their stock fed.

Money raised from Rural Aid's 'Hay Mate' benefit concert in Victoria - which raised more than $4 million - has been used to provide much-needed relief for drought and bushfire-affected farmers.

The convoy will provide feed for about 70 farmers across the district, with farmers with 800 sheep receiving fifteen 500 kilogram bales each.

Brenton Smith, from Calcookara Merino Stud, said many farmers in the district were already feeding their stock from bales, with the coming months typically the hardest to find feed.

HAY NOW: Cowell farmer Brenton Smith welcomes the donation as feed dries up in the district.

HAY NOW: Cowell farmer Brenton Smith welcomes the donation as feed dries up in the district.

"It's from now until our first good rain that's going to be the real struggle," he said.

"After the seasons we've had there's a lot of people who have been feeding for some time."

He said his property was in an area which usually received about 400 millimetres of rain annually, and in 2019 they received just 168, coming off the back of a horrific 2018 with strong winds causing heavy drift and most of the rainfall occurring during summer when it was of less benefit.

CONVOY: Road trains congregate at Middle Camp in Cowell. Photo: Caleb Hancock and Ashley Spiers.

CONVOY: Road trains congregate at Middle Camp in Cowell. Photo: Caleb Hancock and Ashley Spiers.

He said he was fortunate that he had been able to cut hay and reap some grain to help keep his stock fed, but it had prevented him from selling as much as he normally would.

While he said farmers would much prefer to be self-reliant, the donation had come at a great time.

Rural Aid sends donations based on the needs of farmers registered with the organisation.

Australian Community Media, publisher of this website and newspapers around Australia, sponsored the fundraising concert and the convoy.

"It is hard to ask for help but it has been good to get help," Mr Smith said.

"We're very thankful for Rural Aid for supporting communities such as our own."

He said the community was grateful to still receive support while so many other communities battle both drought and bushfires.

"We just hope those people get the help they need, too," he said.

The story Hay arrives in Cowell following benefit concert first appeared on Eyre Peninsula Tribune.

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