Thousands more tipped to go at Scone Sale Yard this week with scorching temperatures predicted

Another huge number of livestock is expected to be sold at Scone on Tuesday, as the drought continues to push Hunter farmers to offload their animals.

About 3500 head are likely to be moved through Scone Sale Yard, after several weeks of numbers higher than 2500.

The sale yard usually has about 1000 to 1200 head through its gates on a given day and in January, 2017, 5546 were sold in the month. It comes as testing times continue for farmers.

Despite the Bureau of Meteorology radar showing that rain was on the way to the region on Friday night, hardly any reached the people who needed it.

When asked on Monday how much rain he received over the weekend, Scone stock agent Peter MacCallum told Fairfax Media “seven spots”. In Merriwa, Ron Campbell said he didn’t get a drop.

The problematic hot weather that’s made the dry conditions worse since Christmas is expected to intensify again this week.

Maximum temperatures in Scone are predicted to be in the high 30s for the remainder of this week, peaking at 40 degrees on Wednesday and Sunday.

The lowest maximum is expected to be 37, on Thursday and Friday. The best chance of rain will be on Sunday – 40 per cent – but that’s for 2mm or less.

Farmers told Fairfax Media last week that they need successive downpours of about 50mm each within a couple of weeks to pull them out of their tough spot.

In Singleton, tops in the mid to high 30s are forecast for the rest of the week, with a high of 40 degrees expected Wednesday. Low to mid 30s are predicted in Maitland, with a top of 39 degrees on Wednesday.

  • ‘Thousands more livestock to go as the Upper Hunter swelters’ 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.

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