Farm­ers re­ceive large do­na­tion of seed

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

PA­CIFIC Seeds has do­nated more than 1600 bags of for­age sorghum seed, enough to plant over 4000ha, to drought-stricken farm­ers in Queens­land and north­ern New South Wales.

Pa­cific Seeds man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Barry Cro­ker said the do­na­tion rep­re­sented a tan­gi­ble way that they could help farm­ers through this dif­fi­cult time.

“Farm­ers are proud and prac­ti­cal peo­ple. So, we wanted to pro­vide them with prac­ti­cal aid,” Mr Cro­ker said.

“We de­cided the best way Pa­cific Seeds could help was by do­nat­ing seed to be used on farms for for­age.

“As a mem­ber of the agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity many ways were looked at on how we could help. For­age sorghum seed, though not an im­me­di­ate fix was felt to be the most nat­u­ral fit given the ex­treme short­age of fod­der.

“The drought has taken a sig­nif­i­cant toll on farm­ers and their com­mu­ni­ties, the do­na­tion of 1620 bags of seed is just a small ges­ture of in show­ing our sup­port and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.”

One of the dis­tri­bu­tion meth­ods for the do­na­tion has been through the Rotary club of Bog­gar­bri.

Bog­gabri Rotary pres­i­dent Mal­colm Don­ald­son said the ship­ment from Pa­cific Seeds is so big they have been able to dis­trib­ute to the neigh­bour­ing dis­tricts of Narrabri, Gunnedah West and Coon­abarabran, where farm­ers are deal­ing with the drought.

“We dis­trib­uted bags of hy­brid for­age seed amongst 120 farm­ers. These farm­ers were ap­proached in­di­vid­u­ally, and seed was tar­geted at those land­hold­ers who may have missed out on most forms of drought as­sis­tance,” Mr Don­ald­son said.

“At least half of the seed has al­ready been planted just be­fore a rain event which has been great for farm­ers.

“In the Bog­gabri dis­trict the seed was limited to al­low a max­i­mum num­ber of land­hold­ers to ben­e­fit from the do­na­tion, and plant a medium sized pad­dock to for­age. Land­hold­ers gen­er­ally had to have ei­ther a failed ce­real or oats pad­dock or a fal­lowed pad­dock avail­able for plant­ing.”

Mr Don­ald­son said the do­na­tion was is a bit like giv­ing a farmer a fish­ing line, not a fish.

“Farm­ers are com­fort­able with this type of as­sis­tance. It is a prac­ti­cal do­na­tion and that can ul­ti­mately be used as feed,” he said.

“If you get a prod­uct like Pa­cific Seeds has of­fered you

❝with We wanted to pro­vide them prac­ti­cal aid.

— Barry Cro­ker

can get it in the ground and grow as carry over feed or you could make hay out of it. This is a prac­ti­cal aid so­lu­tion.

“The drought has been char­ac­ter building for com­mu­ni­ties like Bog­gabri, but the aid from Pa­cific Seeds is a wel­come re­lief.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

DROUGHT DO­NA­TION: Robyn Skillen and Michael Nott, mem­bers of Bog­gabri Rotary Club, with the seed at the Bog­gabri Purse­house de­pot.

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