WAITING FOR RAIN: Michelle Soppa and Tom Vanarkel
WAITING FOR RAIN: Michelle Soppa and Tom Vanarkel Zhanae Conway-Dodd

No rain for five months challenges graziers

MICHELLE Soppa knows what it's like to feel the pinch of a dry winter.

The CQ grazier who fattens and grows cattle at Woodbury hasn't seen rain for five months.

But Michelle was prepared for the lack of rain with the cattle farmer expecting this time of the year to be a bit drier than usual.

"Statistically August and September are our driest months so hopefully coming into October we will get some rain and storms,” she said.

"It's been five months since we've had rain but everywhere is dry.

"If you've done your planning and have some dry grass then that's going to get you through to your summer rain.”

Rocky's hottest winter on record, Yeppoon's driest

Michelle who leases country along with Tom Vanarkle was out at the Gracemere CQLX saleyards yesterday looking to restock.

After destocking due to circumstances and planning, Michelle said they were ready to take on more cattle short term now.

"We have sold basically all our cattle and we're only looking for short term as far as steers to fatten and to grow,” she said.

"That is the market we are looking for today.

"If the price wasn't where we would want it to be, that's with steers then we would move onto heifers.

"Prices are a little high here today so we probably won't be restocking today.”

Tom, who has also been in the industry all his life, said now it was just a matter of waiting for rain.

"We just need rain, you go through it the best you can and just wait for rain,” he said.

Michelle said despite some of the tough times you might come across she couldn't imagine doing anything else.

"I have been in the cattle industry all my life,” she said.

"When you are born into the industry you will always love it.

"I can't imagine never not being a part of it.”



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