Dairy must be green to survive: producer

18 May, 2005 08:45 PM

WA dairy farmers needed to act now if they were to prevent environmental problems that had plagued other dairy areas, Rosa Glen producer Tim Crimp said.

Mr Crimp, who received $22,000 in the latest round of the federal Envirofund program, said action needed to be taken for the long term sustainability of the farm.

"You farm so you can hand it on to future generations, and if you can't hand it over in good heart, well there's not much future for anybody," he said.

The money received will go towards fencing creek lines and wetlands, and installing troughs and watering points for cattle on Mr Crimp's 250ha property.

He said fencing the creek lines helped maintain water quality, which was important to dairy farmers and the whole community.

Without it, cattle could enter these areas and cause damage.

"It is fantastic from the environmental point of view, but it is actually better for the stock handling and everything else," Mr Crimp said.

"If you've got a cow that's calving that's where they always go, you end up losing a cow or a calf in there."

He said it was clear to see the environment was going backwards and everybody had to do their bit to try and save what was left.

"20 years ago, where we are now was bush. It has happened so fast.

"We thought it wouldn't matter if we cleared the bush, but then your neighbour did, and you suddenly realise that there is not much shade and shelter."

The love of the bush was etched into Mr Crimp's heart at a young age.

His parents bought the farm in 1964 when it was uncleared forest and as the ute bumps over its hills, there is a glisten in his eye as he talks.

"I can still remember old tracks on lands that are now cleared where I used to ride my pushbike through, and can remember what the trees were like," he said.

Mr Price will match the funds supplied by the government with his time and labour.

He has been working with the Lower Blackwood Landcare group on the project, especially Jaqcui Hasler and Kaye Lehmann.


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