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1 correction by Hughesdarren - Show corrections

Dairying in the South-West : The Transition State.


(By LEON.)

After Mr. A- E Richardson resigned from the For res'. Ministry because the «chômes, which he end the late Mr. Ohos. Harper had formulated to develop land

settlement through second and third-class j grazing areas, wore pushed aside by Sir John Forrest, his successor as Minister for Jjands was chosen from the eastern dis- trict« ia the late Mr. George Throssell. Boroo fifteen or sixteen years ago Mr. Throssell paid a visit to the south-West

and drove south from Donnybrook through j . the- redgum country and on to Bridge

down. A. good deal of the country had been ringbarked for from four to six years. An extensive bush fire had passed over the whole country about a month previously Hardly any clearing had been done. The tops of thc burnt off trees and branches wore strewn broadcast over the face of the oouutry. What fences had been erect- ed were smashed by fallen dead limbs. Block appeared to have nothing to eat but sticks. Tho laud looked black and deso- late except for some tiny oases, where an old settler had a summer garden near a spring.

Mr. Richardson had recognised the heart it would take to subdue this forest, but Hr. Throssell looked on if he thought l>eop'e were mad to attempt it, and had a pitying word for everyone. Land settle

j^fçuî-should exteud eastwards.* The south

wea to battle against the elements of Kature. end its pioneers' work, and slave for lb« benefit of future generations. But to-day the dawn which heralds the light of lier future greatness has overcome the dark hard days of thc past, and while the early pioneers have not lived to see the ji>suH of their faith, nor will perhaps the fttwxmd generation see it in the full flood of' its prosperity, yet will their names be handed down to posterity as faithful stick lore in tho battle against the odds'of Na- ture, equally with the fame of those young mon who to-day aro fighting' to subdue the disturbers of the world's peace. Fot to-day, with all the oxper 26HOB of the past, Ministers still talk about closer settlement and 6iiia!) areas, and al- most invariably refer to tho available for- est lands, with the clearing of ten acres, a house, ' and a cow, and advance to the set- tlor for improvements.

Soiiio Hard Facts

There has only been one Minister for Lands who had any practical knowledge of, and showed any sympathy for, the South Weil. .. Tho others have been either eas'tern districts or northern districts men or Lab- our members. Wha.t can be done in thc dry areas cannot be done in the wet. Be- cause oountry can be made profitable soon after ringing «nd dealing the small green

timber ia the eastern districts, it does not follow that similar results will obtain in the South-West. «ad before we can ad- vance on our march of progress, especially in dairying, this essential fact must be I driven home- Forest country in wet dis ! tricts is useless for dairying ; the timber must be dead for many years before it t can be cleared profitably for cultivation; a

food fanner is wasted on the land if he

as td wait for years to develop it; farm- ing and land development in wet forest countries are 6eperate branches of life; and Governments that encourage _ "new chums" on to virgin forest binds in wet countries should' be forced to live on the land themselves until they have learned the errors of their ways; while to dear straight out ten acres of virgin forest and ask a man to produce from it is as wicked as it is wasteful. For this reason it is necessary that practical men from each district who have seen all the -stages, of development should be on any advisory boards for the development and settlement

of land.

It would not be fair to Mr. James Mit-

chell, of Northam, to ignore his efforts in j i the direction of developing the South- west, as one of his first acts was to ap

I point a Commissioner who was to advise.

the Minister. Ho also was keenly interest- ed in the development of Denmark. A practical lessan should have been learnt from this latter place. It was a cut out karri forest with dense scrub, impene- trable on foot almost in pisces, with only a fair proportion of good laud of the heaviest clearing, and which, wirh the little timber hamlet bidden in the scrub and not including thc railway, had cost the Government about £1 per acre in its rough state. The best of the karri land was good stiff chocolate loam, and unlike most karri land, which

j is of a light snuffy nature. It was intend

' ed to clear 10 acres of each 100 acre .block,

but as the necessary survey took nearly I two years owing to the dense scrub which

permeated nearly every acre of it, it was decided to send unemployed down to start the work before the survey began. The ! scrub was taken in a face on the good land j and cut down, and any green trees were j ringbarked. Bullock teams and tractor j engines were put to work late; on, and

eventually the loafers of the unemployed were weeded out and a fair average lot ot workmen left. To clear green couniry Denmark had ali the men and plant it could desire. Some of the land was sub- sequently valued et £13 per acre-the ic tual cost per acre-and only part of it had been partially cleared, and although the officer-in-charge of the original operations repeatedly stated the land would not carry the money spent on it, and that at least half should be written off to a charity vote, the whole cost was charged to .each block. It is only recently that this land has been written down to £2 per acre after ten j years of work, possibly because the bal : ance of the partially cleared land has to I grown up as to be absolutely useless. I Nornalup.

I Similar forest land to this it was pro

Sosed U) set apart for returned soldiers at

iornalup. Mav God forbid that a maa «ho bas risked his all and been througii the stress of the most terrible war ia history-or indeed, any mau-should Ve asked to settle (here at present. Wheu the lands ht for intense culture, adjacent to existing railways, are in a fair way

towards being fully developed it will be ' time enough to f urther distribute our popu- lation. Meanwhile experiments should be ! made as to the cheapest and best methods

of exterminating the scrub, (he cutting down and burning of which has proved to be useless.

I Warren House.

As the karri country is the principal j virgin country available, a casual giana* [ at one or two old places in these forests ; may be interesting. Anyone who has been

to "Warren House." tho residence of Mr. [ William Brockman, end has seen the mag-

nificent grass in the small cleared fields adjacent to the boneo, would naturally te mark 0n the extreme fertility of the soil, and would immediately conclude that even if the lona; dead timber cost £40 or £50 per acre io clear, it might pay, as it I would appear as if the country would I carry cow8 instead of sheep per acre. With

au average rainfall of over 50 inches and a

j cool climate, grass keeps green through

I the summer. The soil around U of the

"snuffy" nature and not of the stiffer quality that appertains in patts of thc Donnolly, where the karri is mixed with redgum, or on the high parts of Denmark. Mr. Brockman'a father, who went to settle at the Warren over 50 years ago, had a large herd of cattle and the run of -ho whole country from Point D'Eutrecas teaux to Busselton, where he owned more

j good coast country. The cows at the , Warroo were yarded at night time, the j yards being previously piled high with j rushes from the swampy lands around. At j the conclusion of tho milking' season and j before tho winter set in the accumulated 1 manure from the stockyards was-carted ru

to (he partially oleared fields, and by the j time the fields were quite cleared hun- , dredg of loads of manure per acre had i been {scattered over this land, .tattle I wonder the growth is so magnificent, but a ! new settler or small holding would not 1

have any advantage like Mr. Brockman j had. while no acre even under the low | wages of the early days and under tte best conditions cost less than £40 per acre to clear years after the timber was


Wilgarup and Bridgetown.

Coming farther north and nearer to Bridgetown one passes tho estate of Mr Charles Bose, of Wilgarup, where the tim- ber is principally blackbutt, and if one wants to see the money of the Kimberleys invested in the south-West in an heroic effort to subdue thin hardest of all for-

ests being year after year carried on, and | hear the costs and results of developing ] green country, Mr. Rose ? could enlighten j him. That the land can be made produc- tive is beyond question, as the marvellous

growth of grass and crops and fodder ex- { emplifies, hut if "Wilgarup*-* were fairly

taxed 0n an unimproved basis and «he '

fair and reasonable value of the improve- ments allowed for under a normal 6cale, in normal conditions, the price received would be lcsg than the cost or even worth of the improvements, and a minus quantity left for taxation

Hove on north again into red gum coun- try, and see the property of Mr. Jim Wheatley near Bridgetown, which has-been mostly cleared after years of ringbarkmg bj tba bullock teams broken in from his coast and inland bred cattle; call at Mr J. R. Walters, at the "Peninsula," pass

on your way to the Greenbushes road Mr. j Godfrey Hester's property and also Mr. j Randal Warburton s, all gentlemen who have been some 30 yeats battling in redgum country, and ask any of them bow long it

takes to make green country profitable j and whether if they sold their properties j they would ever eoe money value for et'- j fort, and one should be convinced of 'he

futility of trying to rapidly push on the j dairying industry br putting new settlers

on new country. These properties ace ft'l ! suitable for close settlement. j

Balingup District.  

Again go north past Mr. Frank Craig's property with great paddocks cleared, till

the Balingup Brook is reached and Brook-   lands is visible. Mr. Chas Brockman many years ago bought this property, which,

with its neighbouring estate, "Ferndale,"   was originally taken up by the Padburys

between 60 and 70 years ago. Mr. Brock-   man sold to the late Theo. Lowe and on     his death Brooklands came into the hands   of Mr. Lea Allnutt, who is receiving the   benefit of the labour and expense of the  

previous owners. Mr. Chas. Brockman was   all for development, and although he also   had a coast run during the earlier stages   of the clearing on "Brooklands," he gave   up the coast run and cattle and took to   sheep. Mr. Chas. Brockman never hesi-

tated in saying that if he could have two- thirds of his money back that he had , spent in improvements. he would give any

one the laud. Yet labour was cheaper   then than now, the country fairly open   redgum country, and bush fires could do   their work while the cattle were at the   coast- - Some of the finest fat lambs in

the State are now sold from this property   late in the summer. It is too good for sheep while the country is looking for butter.

"Ferndale" passed from the Padbury's to the late Mr. W. B. Wood some 30 years ago, and was worked in conjunction with a coast run for cattle at Black Point, and many fine bullocks were sold from this property. Some 10 year8 ago the Ferndale Co. (Messrs- Harper and Grasbyl bought the property, which had been sweetened and improved by riugbarking, bush fires, and some cultivation. The new owners cuangd thc policy, sold off most of the cattle and substituted sheep and the "growth of fod- der crops. Less labour is required f -r sheep than dairying, but this property, a large portion of which could be irrigated, should be carrying cows, not sheep. Mucli in thc way of improvements has been ef- fected by thc present owners, who also sell fat -lambs of the highest quality late

iu the summer. If it «rill fatten lambs at that season it should be carrying dairy cattle. Yet Mr. Grasby, whose writings en agriculture arc well known, keeps on say- ing nothing-from modesty, is it-or fo»' he may lose the property by compulsory purchase by the Government? Cross the hills a few miles past Mr. Theo. Robins' hilly but good grazing estate, «nd you will reach "Cundcnup," previously referred to. where many fat cattle are sold annually, and where the old methods of dairying and sending the cattle to the coast n January are ¿till iu vogue.

Tlie Upper Capel.

North again a few miles by bridle track one passes the proper of Ravensaliffe," owned by Mr. J. h. Rose, which is now principally used for dairying purposes owing to its owner being obliged to give up sheep ou account of the raids of din- goes. Only ono small family runs the dairy, whereas if the land suitable for cultivation and now nearly clear were put

to tts full use several families could ba ' doing well and much more butter put ou our empty markets.

Adjoining Ravenscliffe is.the well-known property of Capeldene, owned by Col. H M. Brazier, which in its primeval state Í was Owned by the lato Mr. Cookworthy> of Busselton, who, together with the Sandi- lands property, nan cattle on both places. The present owner purchased Capeldene about 20 years ago, and not having tho benefit of the coastal runs upon which to run cattle he began immediately to grow sheep, and all the clearing on the estate had to be paid for in hard cash. À certain amount of dairying is being' carried on, but sheep are the principal industry* Fort men in the South-West have had more ex pcriencein land development than the ow-

ner of Capeldene, and he could possibly en- - lighten the public as to the cost of deve- loping green country and how long it would take to get a return. Again north. Mr. T. L. liyaJl carries on a little dairying, but most of the cows were sold off rather tlian comply with the Board of Health con- ditions, and some of the finest crossbred sheep in the Sou th-West are grown withe yearly average of over Olh. of wool, including lambe. Mr. Ryal! bad the benefit on pur chase of some ringbarking, but had a most useful family of boys ona girls during the developmental stage. This property is emi- nently suitable for dairying. North again ie passed Mr- Chas. Trigwell* pro- perty, also Crendon, owned by Mr. John Fry, and Lorridon, owned by Mr. Hugh

Brockman. Nearly all those proper ti OJ

milk a few cows and send cream V> th« factory, hut thc principal industry is again sheep. There is no country (n the South-West more suitable for subdivisión than this stretch of country, more capable of development into a state fit for intense culture, or more suitable for dairying; there is no country iii Viotoria better than the best of 'his land, or equal that could be bought for moro than twice what this land would sell for. It is' good for the Stat« that men of heart haye taken on the South-West or it would have been a forest to-day.