NSW, Tamworth campdrafts cancelled as a result of severe drought

STRUGGLING: Australian Bushmen's Campfraft and Rodeo Association president Craig Young is cancelling up to three events a week. Photo: Peter Hardin
STRUGGLING: Australian Bushmen's Campfraft and Rodeo Association president Craig Young is cancelling up to three events a week. Photo: Peter Hardin

SEVERE drought conditions have scrapped country campdrafts at a rate of two to three a week.

The impact will be felt in the sport for years Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association president Craig Young said.

“We’ve had to cancel 70 per cent of our campdrafts for the year,” he said.

“There’s no cattle because of the drought.

“The rural economy will not see a huge economic turnaround just because it rains overnight, we’ll be two years behind on grain production, livestock production, we’ll be behind for everything.”

Farmers have been desperately selling their livestock, as a result there isn’t enough cattle to give campdrafts the go ahead.

And much of the stock that is around is in poor condition.

Without campdraft events small country towns miss out, Mr Young said.

“The small towns miss out on the number of people that turn up and spend their money every week,” he said.

“So it will have a flow on effect economically.

“We’ve got cash reserves that help keep us operating, however it will have a huge impact on our income and the end of the day, there certainly won’t be any profit for this year.”

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Mr Young expects cattle numbers to remain low for a couple of years, with the amount of breeding stock being slaughtered due to drought.

”A number of our members are in the rural scene and they’re flat out feeding stock and trying to look after their properties,” he said.

“They understand the current environmental circumstances just don’t allow events to be run.”

The association usually runs four to five campdrafts a week across the area in a strong cattle season.

Mr Young said despite the hardship, drought isn’t a new concept.

“Keeping your chin up is the biggest thing, it’s part of life, we’ve seen it before and we as a community can only pull together in these circumstances and do the best we can,” he said.

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