Powerful image symbolises heartache of drought-stricken Australian farmers

A heart-breaking image of an elderly farmer praying for rain has become a symbol of drought-stricken Australian farmers.

The image was shared on Facebook by 83-year-old Alf King's daughter Rhonda King.

It shows Mr King praying for rain on their cattle farm near Bingara, in northern New South Wales.

"The effects of drought. This morning I found my 83-year-old father in the middle of a dry dam, praying for rain," she said on her post.

Australian farmers are suffering their worst drought in living memory, with some farmers forced to shoot cattle due to lack of feed.

The image of Alf King which has captured the desperation of drought-stricken Australian farmers.
The image of Alf King which has captured the desperation of drought-stricken Australian farmers. Photo credit: Facebook

Ms King said normally they run about 120 breeding cows and their calves up until they're approximately 12 to 15 months old. 

"This year I have sold half my breeding cows that were seven months in calf. Most were purchased by the abattoirs and were killed," she said.

She has also had to sell 27 steers to purchase another load of cottonseed to keep remaining stock alive.

Since posting the photo, Ms King has had hundreds of messages of support.

"So overwhelmed by the response to my photo of dad praying for rain that went viral on Facebook," she said in a follow-up post.

"Hundreds of people sent messages of support, both mentally and physically, prayed for rain to come, and it did on Wednesday", said Ms King

"You have given us so much strength to carry on, just knowing there are so many people out there, and know we are not in this alone."

A crowd-funding page has now been set up for Alf and Rhonda King.

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