Quick-dry-out a factor in sneaky Upper Hunter drought

Neville Watts sees an historic parallel with the drought that’s been tightening its grip on the Upper Hunter.

Mr Watts has been working his 730 acre Willow Tree property for 14 years after leaving his Muswellbrook farm, which he said became a dustbowl as a result of mining.

Now, he said, dry conditions in the Hunter were “getting to the desperate stage for some people”.

A compounding factor that many farmers say is making this drought different to most is the severely hot weather.

“It’s got very dry very quickly,” Mr Watts told Fairfax Media in Scone.

“In 1955, the flood ran over the Hunter Valley and in 1956 cattle were dying at Glenrock Station, that’s how quickly it dried out. 

“This drought we have now is sneaking up on us.”

  • ‘Upper Hunter drought ‘sneaking up on us’: Farmer’ is part of an ongoing series of reports by the Newcastle Herald, Maitland Mercury, Singleton Argus and Hunter Valley News investigating the effects of drought of local farmers in the Upper and Lower Hunter.
This story Upper Hunter drought ‘sneaking up on us’: Farmer first appeared on Newcastle Herald.