NOW: Steve Wilkinson's Proston farm is suffering from the ongoing drought, as this image taken last week shows.
NOW: Steve Wilkinson's Proston farm is suffering from the ongoing drought, as this image taken last week shows. Contributed

Before and after photos reveal dairy farmer's despair

WHEN A Proston dairy farmer took a photo of his property last week, he was shocked at what he discovered.

Steve Wilkinson and his mother have run the South Burnett dairy since 2001.

"It's just me and Mum now. Dad passed away back in 2006," Mr Wilkinson said.

As if running a dairy farm with your mother isn't hard enough, he said the months and months of dry weather they had experienced only made matters worse.

"Things were, you could say, on a downward slide," he said.

"The last 12 months certainly have gotten progressively worse and worse."

But it wasn't until he compared the photo from last week with one from 10 years ago that the reality of the lack of rain really set in.

A photo taken back in February 2009 shows just how green and healthy his property once was.

"It's not until you put the two photos side by side the reality of it sinks in," he said.

"It is certainly devastating.

"If you don't laugh you cry."

Mr Wilkinson said they had to cut back on their stock just to try and stay afloat.

"Worst case is we would have to sell all the cows," he said.

"Hopefully it never comes to that."

The Proston dairy farmer said a lack of colour in the landscape wasn't the only impact of the dry conditions.

"Less feed means milk production comes secondary to the stock," he said.

"When they do eat the feed they keep it for themselves."

Like any seasoned farmer, Mr Wilkinson has tracked rain levels over the years, with jaw-dropping results.

"We have only had 2mm in the last 87 days," he said.

South Burnett

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