The drought continues

The summer of 2023/24 is officially the driest, longest summer we have experienced since moving to the farm.

After a brief downpour in February giving us a much needed 10mm in the gauge, the extended heat has meant all the livestock are consuming far more water than they would normally at this time of year.

So far we have had to buy three truckloads of water for the livestock tank and on Wednesday we ran out of water in the house tank for the first time ever, after all these years I am devastated to have to contaminate our house water with crappy, chemical laden town water. Unfortunately the studio tank is only half full, so while we are using it to bring water over to the house for drinking water and to flush toilets until the truck is able to deliver water to us, there isn’t enough in the small studio tank to last us for too many days.

The whole south west and great southern region is all suffering from this drought, so the demand on the very limited number of water cartage trucks is at a premium and it looks like we may be without water until early next week. And of course we are fencing in this heat and dust so a shower each day is a must…are 15 years of not using the hot water system we finally removed the gas bottles from the studio last year, so its been ice cold showers for us at the end of long hot dusty days.

The long range forecast indicates we won’t be getting any rain until the end of June, apart from the obvious lack of water, there is now a shortage of feed everywhere. None of the farmers around here are seeding yet and if we don’t get rain soon, hay and feed shortages are going to continue until harvest next year.

The horse paddock has never looked so bad, but we dare not rake the poop and destroy the remaining pasture roots that are barely keeping our topsoil in place with the strong easterly winds we have been having. The horses are covered in thick dust, no shiny summer coats here at the moment 🙁

The pygmy goats of course are pretty happy there is no rain to force them into their shelter when they would rather be outside playing and eating 🙂

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