TO GO WITH: Australia-climate-drought-suicide
Farmer Marshall Rodda inspects his stunted wheat stalks, normally thigh high, and which have only managed only a few inches growth in the parched earth of the Australian wheat belt area of Wimmera, northwest of Melbourne, 14 November 2006. Some areas of Australia have been without significant rainfall for years and figures recently released showed the country’s winter crop was down more than 60 percent on 2005. Farm incomes have also plummetted 70 percent to their lowest levels in more than a decade and Treasurer Peter Costello has warned Australia faces a rural depression if the situation does not improve. AFP PHOTO/William WEST

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