CQ farmer forced to travel 500km to hand feed his cattle
CATTLE farmer Lyall Fisher has been travelling to his property in Foreshores from his home town of Roma since April to hand-feed his cattle.
"I come up for a couple of weeks at a time," he said.
"We used to run about 50 head, but we've cut back to 29.
"They're definitely getting a bit ribby, but I can't just leave them to starve.
"I'd lose money if I'd sold them now and to restock them later would cost a fortune."
Mr Fisher said it was hard being away from his family while he looked after his block, but added things could be much worse.
"I'm just really grateful my neighbour Steve Noy√ is keeping and eye out for my cattle when I'm back home," he said.
"Even though he's got his hands full with his own farm."
Mr Fisher will be back at Foreshores again this weekend with some more feed.
"I don't know where the hay bales are coming from now?" he said.
"All the paddocks I pass on the way up, where there used to be big bales of hay stacked up, have been stripped bare."
He said the drought had also hit his home town of Roma pretty hard.
"Things are really crook out there," Mr Fisher said.
"There's not a blade of grass on the ground.
"We've been giving money to a farmer who's buying milk powder for his calves.
"The poor mothers are so wrung out they can't feed their young, so they just abandon them."
When asked about the Federal Government's drought relief payment he said it's not something he has considered.
"I don't want to take money off someone else who could use it," Mr Smith said.
"I'm struggling, but I'd rather get by with what I've got."
He said he has been spending his own money to drought proof his land.
"I'm getting a bore sunk this week," he said.
"Plus we've built a dam, all it needs is some rain to fill it.
"With a bit of luck, it'll come earlier this year, hopefully in late September."