Prime Mover Magazine

Farmers helping farmers in drought-affected Cowell district

Grain growers on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula (EP) with frosted wheat crops have been able to recoup their costs while helping their fellow farmers, distributing roadtrain loads of hay across the Cowell district.

Lock farmer Micheal Hancock has spent the past two years assisting charity Rural Aid on a volunteer basis in buying and moving hay across SA.

While Rural Aid has been kept busy coordinating relief efforts for bushfire-affected regions, Hancock stepped up to coordinate efforts to assist the Cowell area.

He said having travelled through drought-affected regions across the country, Cowell was just as affected as many of the larger regions in the eastern states.

"Here is as bad as anywhere I've seen," said Hancock.

"Because it's a smaller area it can be forgotten ... it's good to have them recognised and acknowledged."

With Rural Aid sourcing most of its SA hay from other areas of the Eyre Peninsula, Hancock said it was good to see some of the feed stay in the region.

"A lot of the hay is driving past Cowell, past Kimba. They watch it leave the state and it doesn't land here."

Hancock said donations were planned around registrations, and members of the Cowell community had done a great job encouraging more locals to put their hand up.

He said Rural Aid was also providing a market for EP farmers affected by frost, with his hometown of Lock hit hard for the second year in a row.

The initial donation came predominantly from the Lower EP, but later donations will come from farmers in closer districts, including Wharminda.

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