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THE BALINGUP DISTRICT.
AN ALMOST UNKNOWN LOCALITY.
(By a Cbrresnondent.i
It is often said that there is no great extent of good land in this State without a large amount of poor soil being mixed with it. This may apply to some districts, but those who make that statement evid- ently have not visited the Blackwood District. This may be called the Gipps- land of Western Australia, and the re- semblance is very strong in more ways than one. The general conformation of the country is similar, consisting of hill and dale, the hills steep, although not very high, the valleys narrow, with but a small area of flat lands, creeks and springs abundant, and the whole country heavily timbered. What the capabilities of this land are, it is difficult to say, for it seems never to have had a fair trial or test, but that they are very great, any- one who has visited the Balingup district and gone over the Brooklands Estate, be- longing to Mr. Chas. Brockman, cannot fail to realise. Mr. Brockman has long
been a staunch believer in this district, and showed his faith by taking up a lot of the country, and, although for some years the results were not very promis ing, latterly his faith has proved to have been well founded. The land, being so heavily timbered, is very sour, and for some years after ringing does not grow very good grasses, but each year it keeps on improving, and after the seventh or eighth year finer grazing country it would almost be impossible to obtain.
Grass of many varieties-trefoil and clo-
vers-maketheir appearance, and a close
dense sole is formed, that for at least nine months of the year would keep a beast to two acres. The natural grasses are so good that it seems scarcely neces- sary to introduce artificial ones, and yet they have been tried with the greatest success. English ryegrass and cocksfoot especially give wonderful returns, and just lately the paspalum delatatum has been introduced, and promises excellent
Brooklands proper consists of about 3,500 acres of freehold, of which 3.000 acres are rung. Out of this Mr. Brockman is fortunate in having almost 1,000 acres of the richest flats. To give some idea of the way the country is watered, it may be stated that on the estate there are 12
permanent running streams and over 100i permanent springs, most of the latter
have broken out since country has been rung. The timber consists mostly of jar- rah, redgum, and blackbutt, while on the flats the bluegums principally grow. The ringing costs about ls. 6d. an acre, and as the dead timber falls it is burnt, so that the paddocks are always kept clean. Part of the land is under cultivation and
orchard, and all kinds of fruit trees seem to thrive equally well.
After the country has been rung for a few years, when it is cultivated it yields wonderful crops. This year on some old land that has been cultivated for many years the oat crop was about 70 bushels to the acre, while the potato crops aver- age from 8 to 10 tons per acre through- out the whole district. Maize and sorg- hum flourish, and lucerne does particu- larly well. There is a heavy rainfall of over 50 inches, but in spite of this, Mer- ino sheep do well, and are never troubled with foot-rot or fluke, and are particular- ly free from all diseases.
Mr. Brockman estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of acres of equally good land that only require ringing and clearing, and when this almost unknown country is opened up it will be one of the finest dairying districts in Australia. Two view's taken on Mr. Brockman's pro- perty will be found on page 30.