OUR front page story about cattle being seized from a Nana Glen property is disturbing in many ways.
The image of emaciated livestock is one we usually associate with parched paddocks well west of us, but the reality of this current dry spell is now hitting much closer to home than many local cockies can recall.
No farmer likes to see animals in poor condition, and certainly everyone should feel for the cattle which are now hopefully on better feed.
Rather than condemn, we should also feel for the farmers, stuck between a rock and hard place due to a set of circumstances including age, death and of course lack of rain.
So far this year Coffs Harbour has only received two thirds of its annual average rainfall. Add in average November minimum and maximum temperatures tracking more than two degrees above the long-term average, and the ongoing and widespread drought making supplementary feeding a very expensive option, and many coastal primary producers are really struggling.
It doesn't help that cattle returns are no better than they were a decade ago.
For their sake and ours, let's hope Santa can deliver a pre-Christmas drought busting drenching.