Dairy industry suffers another hit after Cobden and Terang fires

It’s been a tough few years for dairy farmers, Cobden Artificial Breeders’ Russell McCann says.

He was at a mate’s property on Monday, helping move stock from scorched earth to greener pastures.

Mr McCann said more should be done before the fire period to ensure blazes such as the Cobden one don’t devastate properties.

He says burning off on road sides should be a high priority.

“We need fuel reduction done sensibly, at an early stage,” he said.

He said roadside slashing shouldn’t be the option of choice.

Mr McCann said the fire was the last thing farmers needed, in the current economic climate.

As the mop-up continued in Cobden and surrounds, farmers were assessing burnt fences and moving cattle.

Others were sourcing hay and booking hire generators to operate their dairies.

Mr McCann said the fires were another blow to those in the agricultural industry.

“Dairy farmers have been doing it tough for a long time now,” he said. “Look, it hasn’t affected everyone right now, but it will in some way or another. I’d really like to see a little bit more support from all levels of government, of any political persuasion, towards agriculture. Milk prices were looking like dropping (before the fires) and there’s no grass.”

Mr McCann was at his house in Cobden on Saturday night and Sunday morning when the fires were raging.

“I live on the south side of Cobden,” he said.

“I noticed it (the fire) behind the Cobden factory early and within two hours it was south of us. I would say it travelled 40 kilometres in two hours. There wasn’t a lot of time for people to get anything.”

He said he would now look to help farmers in anyway he could.

“I’ll help the farming community as much I can,” Mr McCann said. “I’m giving a little bit of hay as well. I’ve got a bit for a few head of stock. I’ll give what I can.”

By: Rachael Houlihan

Source: The Standard

Link: http://www.standard.net.au/story/5292850/dairy-farmers-suffering-again-after-fires-photos-videos/

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