Provision of fodder and aerial fodder drops in natural disasters

During and after a natural disaster there may be a need to undertake aerial fodder drops for the welfare of livestock. For example, a flood may cause property access issues, leaving aerial fodder drops as the only option to feed stranded livestock.

Fodder drops are expensive and depending on the size and scale of the natural disaster, may not always be feasible.

The Queensland Government together with industry representative groups AgForce, Pork Queensland and Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation help coordinate fodder drops for primary producers during natural disaster situations.

Funding under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA)

Funding for aerial fodder drops is not normally available under DRFA. However, depending on the severity of the disaster, funding may be made available for these activities.

You may be eligible for other freight subsidies under DRFA.

Key principles for fodder drops

The key principles for the provision of fodder and aerial fodder drops are:

  • Animal welfare remains the responsibility of the person or persons looking after livestock at a particular time. This will usually be the owners or current managers of the livestock.
  • In cases where livestock are displaced to a different property because of a natural disaster, the livestock owner is normally responsible for their welfare. However, in circumstances where the owner can't be contacted, the government and industry will determine the appropriate action to address the welfare needs of the animals.
  • Responsibility for the cost of maintaining livestock generally rests with the owner. The provision of fodder and fodder drops (the fodder itself and aerial transport) is not eligible for standard DRFA assistance, so any costs are borne by the owner.
  • Depending on the scale of a natural disaster event, DRFA Category C recovery grant funding may be made available and these funds may be used to pay for fodder drops.
  • In rare, exceptional and extreme events where large numbers of livestock are affected and provision of fodder is beyond the resources of the affected community, DRFA Category D assistance may include a fodder drop program after negotiation with the Australian Government.
  • Even if a need is identified, human need for air transport will be a higher priority than the needs of livestock, should there be a conflict.
  • Fodder must comply with conditions established to address harmful contaminants, chemical residue concerns and the spread of weeds, pests and diseases.

Fodder drop process

The process for the provision of fodder during a natural disaster is:

  • The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in collaboration with industry leaders will determine if the provision of fodder or fodder drops is required.
  • If required, DAF will coordinate fodder drops in conjunction with relevant industry groups on a needs basis.
  • This need can't be determined in advance. A decision to conduct a fodder drop operation will be made in liaison with industry and will be based on factors such as:
    • scale
    • severity
    • location
    • need
    • and
    • competing priorities for aircraft and fuel.
  • Fodder drops will be coordinated at a local level, and should a fodder drop program be judged necessary, the names of relevant DAF and industry coordinators will be made available through local media and industry mechanisms.
  • Coordinators will match requests for fodder assistance with available transport and fodder supplies. They will also develop a register of available fodder supplies.

More information

Contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23 for more information about aerial fodder drops during disaster situations.