While more urbanised dwellers may consider the drought to be over on the Eastern seaboard of Australia, the reality is very different. Yes, there has been substantial rain, flooding rains in some areas however income levels remain ordinary for many farmers and graziers. You can imagine the difficulty of recouping losses from a dry period that began in some areas in 2000 and lasted around seven years. Marginal rains in many areas assisted production coming out of the drought however with the fluctuation in commodity prices and the increasing inconsistency of the weather there has been little sustained improvement for growers. Yesterday the ABC rural news reported that the average NSW farm debt was sitting around the $760,000.00 plus mark. The worst hit areas are the Central West of NSW which encompass areas such as Dubbo. More telling are the number of properties which have been listed for sale since February which have failed to reach their reserve and been passed in. There is not alot of spare cash in the bush at the moment. Producers are consolidating and ‘sitting’ biding their time. Meanwhile overseas investors remain interested in buying up large chunks of rural Australia. A number of Abattoirs, feedlots and properties have changed hands this year in both QLD and NSW, purchased by overseas’s company’s conscious of food and investment security. The global financial crisis has emphasised the best and worst of investment strategies. No matter how difficult business becomes there is still no safer place for your money than the land and they’re not making any more of it!

This picture was taken last September 2009 at midday on a fine, sunny day when consecutive dust storms billowed in from West.