Australia drought-free for first time in a decade

Apr 27, 2012
This file photo shows sheep searching for feed on a dry and dusty property in rural New South Wales, in 2010. Australia said it would be officially drought-free next week for the first time in more than a decade, providing relief for struggling farmers.

Australia said it would be officially drought-free next week for the first time in more than a decade, providing relief for struggling farmers.

The exceptional , brought on by an intense El Nino weather pattern, sent many of those who work the land to the wall, but Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig on Friday said an end was in sight.

When he lifts the last two Exceptional Circumstances declarations -- which provide subsidies to hard-up farmers -- in two areas on Monday, the vast island continent will officially no longer be in .

"The extended period of drought, which made things tough for many on the land, is finally over," Ludwig said.

"The seasonal outlook is brighter than it has been for many years and the improved conditions are a welcome reprieve for farmers across Australia."

Australia, with ranging from the tropical to the alpine, is characterised by extremes.

Its sheer size, location and the fact that it is surrounded by oceans make it especially vulnerable to the El Nino phenomenon and its cousin, La Nina.

While El Nino brought on the drought, La Nina conditions over the past two years have contributed to flooding and downpours across Australia.

Ludwig added he was working with the country's states and territories to put together new policies that would provide more effective measures to help manage risk and prepare for the next drought.

Explore further: Last month was hottest August since 1880

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

La Nina outlook is easing says UN weather agency

May 23, 2011

La Nina, the disruptive weather pattern behind floods and droughts, is easing and there are no signs suggesting a resurgence in the coming months, the UN weather agency said on Monday.

El Nino phenomenon to die out by mid-year

Mar 30, 2010

Weather experts said Tuesday that El Nino, the weather anomaly that wreaks havoc around the Pacific and east Africa, has peaked and would disappear by mid-year.

El Nino could last beyond spring

Dec 11, 2006

A University of Colorado weather expert has warned the El Nino weather pattern over the Pacific Ocean could survive past the upcoming spring.

Recommended for you

Last month was hottest August since 1880

9 minutes ago

Last month was the hottest August on record for global average temperatures over land and ocean surfaces, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday.

Unforeseen dioxin formation in waste incineration

3 hours ago

Dioxins forms faster, at lower temperatures and under other conditions than previously thought. This may affect how we in the future construct sampling equipment, flue gas filtering systems for waste incineration ...

Crowdsourcing could lead to better water in rural India

4 hours ago

With more than 10 million service points, India's rural drinking water system provides a real monitoring headache for public health officials. To help address the challenge, a three-continent research consortium ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Argiod
1 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2012
God bless Australia and its people. May the end of this drought bring you all good luck and a happy future.