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Title: Australia, The Dairy Country
Author: Australia. Dept. of External Affairs
Language: English
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     AUSTRALIA: _The_ Dairy Country

     Dairy Farmers are specially invited and assisted to come to
     Australia because it is considered that in a progressive young
     Country with so much Territory adapted for Dairying such Settlers
     will advance the interest of the Country and of themselves.


     By Authority: McCARRON, BIRD & CO., Printers. 479 Collins Street,

[Illustration: Note the Shedding is of very light description.]



     Bacon-Curing                             48
     Bee Farming                              21
     Breeds of Cattle in Use                  33
     Butter Exported                          11
     Cheese-making                            47
     Clearing Land                            45
     Condensed Milk                           36
     Conditions of Selection                  45
     Co-op. Factories, Facilities given       36
     Cost of Starting a Farm                  27, 34
     Dairy Herds                              47
     Experiences of Farmers                   35
     Facilities Offered to Dairymen           31, 38, 42
     Gov'mnt. Assistance to the Farmer        31
     Grasses                                  35
     Growth of the Industry                   10
     Labour Conditions                         5
     Land for Dairy Farming                   26, 31, 32, 43
     Land, Price of                           26, 33, 43
     Monetary Aid to Settlers                 25
     New South Wales                          26-27
     Pig Raising                              14
     Poultry Farming                          20
     Profit per Cow                           33, 40
     Queensland                               31-36
     Seasons                                   7
     South Australia                          37-40
     Share System of Dairying                 22
     Size of Average Herd                     34
     State Supervision                        12
     Stock, Price of                          33
     Tasmania                                 44-48
     Victoria                                 27-31
     Western Australia                        40-44
     Winter Feed                              35

     Information Concerning AUSTRALIA
     may be obtained on application to--



     NIEL NIELSEN, Esq.,
     Trade and Immigration Commissioner for New South Wales,
     419 Market Street, San Francisco.

     F. T. A. FRICKE, Esq.,
     Land and Immigration Agent for Victoria,
     687 Market Street, San Francisco.


     The High Commissioner for
     72 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S.W.


     Collins and Spring Streets, Melbourne.

The suitability of Australia as a country for the dairyman is referred
to in the report of the Scottish Agricultural Commission,[A] who toured
the States of the Commonwealth in 1910-11, in the following terms:--

[Illustration: An up-to-date Milking Yard.]

     "The practice of dairying, in a limited domestic sense, as applied
     to the milking of a few cows and the making of a little butter and
     cheese for family use, is as old as the history of mankind, and in
     that restricted meaning dairying has been carried on in Australia
     since the arrival of the first settlers. But the industry as
     existing there to-day is a vastly different matter, being already
     of great importance, and promising rapid and extensive development.
     It is a young industry, so recently out of its infancy that if this
     report had been written fifteen years ago the section on dairying
     might have been almost as brief as the famous chapter on snakes in

[Illustration: Cream Carts at the Factory.]

     "The live stock brought to Sydney by Captain Phillip in 1788, and
     sent to propagate their kind at Farm Cove, consisted of one bull,
     four cows, one calf, and seven pigs. Their descendants in 1908
     included about ten and a-half millions of cattle, of which nearly
     two millions were dairy cows. This is about one cow for every two
     persons in the Commonwealth, which seems a large proportion, but as
     it means only one cow for every two square miles in Australia,
     there is ample room for expansion. In Great Britain we have about
     twenty-six cows for every square mile, and only one cow for every
     fifteen people. These figures indicate that in proportion to its
     population Australia is much more of a dairying country than Great
     Britain, but that in proportion to its area, it has developed the
     industry much less extensively, and is still capable of making
     enormous growth. Until within comparatively recent years there was
     little dairying anywhere in the Commonwealth, and what little there
     was appears to have been carried on by somewhat primitive methods.
     Modern developments, the spread of scientific knowledge, the
     fostering care of Government, and, above everything, the advent of
     the separator, of the milking machine, and of the freezer have
     changed all that. To-day the industry is prospering and full of

     "There is no denying the fact that every State in the Commonwealth
     has extensive districts where dairying could be carried on very
     profitably. Indeed there must be very few parts of the world where
     Nature does so much to help and so little to hinder the provident
     and industrious producer of milk.

     "The most important advantage of all is undoubtedly the climate,
     and that, like many another thing of value, is a good servant, but
     a bad master. It would not be easy to overstate the benefit a
     dairyman receives from being relieved of the need for housing,
     hand-feeding, and tending his cows during a long winter. His cows
     are healthier, their feeding costs less, there is no cleaning of
     byres, no washing of floors, no preparing of food, no never-ending
     carting of turnips, no filling of sheds with hay or straw. His
     anxiety, his work, and his expense are reduced by half, through the
     simple agency of a friendly climate. And yet this same climate is
     also his most dangerous enemy.

     "There are certainly also adverse influences which must not be
     forgotten, but a careful examination of the whole position will
     probably lead to the conclusion that Australia is, on the whole, a
     good dairyman's country.

     "The advantages include:--(1) Cheap land, (2) cheap cows, (3)
     inexpensive buildings, (4) a climate permitting cows to be in the
     open all the year round, (5) a convenient market and a fair price
     at the factories, (6) helpful Government supervision.

     "The disadvantages are:--(1) Dear and scarce labour, (2) an
     inferior stock of milk cows, (3) occasional dry seasons, and (4)
     the farmer's inexperience and ignorance of scientific dairying."

These several points are touched on in this pamphlet in the chapters
dealing with the individual States, but some general remarks are offered
here in regard to the four points mentioned as operating

(1) _Dear and Scarce Labour._--Every young country at times experiences
the difficulty of procuring sufficient skilled assistance to keep pace
with the rapid expansion of its industries. Australia is no exception.
Dairy farmers there have not always been able to obtain experienced
milkers. The farmer with children old enough to assist him is at a great
advantage, and some of the most successful dairy farms in the
Commonwealth are worked mainly by the owners and their families. But
where the herd is too large, or the family too small, the milking
machine, which is really a valuable aid to the dairyman, has been
pressed into use, with satisfactory results.

[Illustration: A fine herd of Holsteins.]

There is no doubt that rapid as has been the expansion of this industry
in Australia, its development has been distinctly retarded by the want
of reliable milkers.

But what is the farmer's bane is the farm labourer's boon. The scarcity
of labour has checked the farmer's operations, but it gives the man
seeking employment a wider field.

Competent milkers readily find employment at $4.80 to $6.00 per week and
keep. In every important district good dairy hands also have facilities
extended to them for entering into arrangements for dairying on shares,
with profit to themselves (see pp. 16-18).

(2) _An Inferior Stock of Milk Cows._--The fact that while in many
districts there are to be found dairy herds averaging barely 300 gallons
per cow per annum, with a butter fat percentage of little over 3.5,
carried on the same class of land as herds which average over 500
gallons per cow, with over 4 per cent. butter fat, will enable any dairy
farmer to realise how much room there is for improvement in this
thriving young industry, and what scope there is for the man accustomed
to get the best results from his land and his herd. But the Governments
of the respective States afford special facilities by way of importing
and placing at the disposal of farmers stud cattle of the highest
standards. Private persons are also doing a great deal in importing and
breeding high-class animals. Herd-testing associations are becoming more
numerous. Farmers are learning that it is profitable to keep milk
records and to cull out of their herds the cows that do not give payable
yields, and pronounced advancement is being made in this direction.

(3) _Occasional Dry Seasons._--The effects of dry spells, which
sometimes occur even in the best-watered dairying districts, can be
greatly minimised by the conservation of fodder, by cheap and easy
methods of silage. So rich is the country in succulent natural grasses,
and so congenial is the climate, that farmers exhibit a tendency to rely
too much on the bounty of the seasons. This is what the Scottish
Commission meant when they referred to the friendly climate as being the
dairyman's most dangerous enemy. It is true that in normal years milch
cows may depasture the whole year long on the natural pastures, and on
this food alone yield milk of magnificent flavour, producing butter and
cheese of the highest quality. But there should be put by to supplement
the natural fodder during dry times a supply of food either as hay or
silage. The experts of the various agricultural departments strongly
advocate the use of the silo, but the advice has not yet been generally

As the loss in the silo is insignificant, it can be realised how cheaply
ample stores of the best class of stand-by fodder can be conserved.
Silos to hold 100 tons cost about $480.00 to construct, and a cutter and
elevator about $144.00. To this would have to be added the cost of a
horse-works or engine, but until a settler is in a position to indulge
in the most up-to-date outfit, he can follow the usual practice of
serving his greenstuff in the form of stack silage, which entails a very
moderate outlay.

[Illustration: Silos, Victoria.]

Many crops excellent for silage are easily grown, and the cultivation
areas need never be idle for a day at any time of the year. As one crop
becomes fit to use, the land can be replanted irrespective of weather
conditions. For instance, in spring (September) maize or sorghum can be
sown, either over the whole area at once or at intervals of a week or a
month up to January. In three to three and a-half months, during which
time the pastures are at their best, and there is no need for
supplementary fodder, the first of the areas will be ready for use as
green fodder, or for conversion into silage to serve as a cheap and
juicy winter fodder. In many districts as soon as the earliest-sown
maize crop is harvested a second maize or sorghum crop is planted, and
by the time that is ready to cut, barley and vetches or field peas can
be planted to come in to supplement the stores of winter fodder.

[Illustration: A fine growth of Sorghum--Victoria.--An excellent fodder

Maize is harvested for silage when the cobs are well filled, and the
grain is beginning to glaze; at this stage a normal crop will yield
about 20 tons greenstuff per acre. Sorghum will produce about 15 tons,
and barley and vetches or peas about 10 tons per acre. Wheat and oats
are often grown in order to be cut for hay, and make an excellent

Another most valuable crop to the dairyman is lucerne, which will keep
in a well-built stack for an indefinite time.

(4) _The Farmer's inexperience and ignorance of Scientific
Dairying._--To this last point the Scottish Commissioners furnish a
reply in their report.

[Illustration: A typical Australian Dairy Farm.]

"A great many," the report states, "of those engaged in producing milk
have had no training in the business. If a man can milk a cow, or is
willing to learn, he thinks himself quite able to run a dairy farm. In
time, if he is intelligent and observant, he becomes as expert at his
trade as if he had never done anything else; but his experience has
certainly cost him a good deal. The men who are neither intelligent nor
observant learn little from experience, and their dairy methods leave
much to be desired. It is they who breed their cows anyhow, who keep no
kind of milk records, who think it economy to bring in their cows to the
calving as hard as wood, who depend entirely on pasture for food, who
make no provision for drought, who have nothing to learn from anybody,
and who are keeping the reputation of the Australian cow at a level much
below respectability. By-and-by, no doubt, this type of man will become
scarcer. The State Governments are doing what is possible to spread
abroad scientific knowledge in dairying matters, and a younger
generation is growing up that has been made familiar both with the
practice and the theory of milk production. When their time comes it is
certain they will make dairying highly profitable. The fact that, with
an average milk yield of 'something under 250 gallons per annum,' the
industry as a whole is in a prosperous condition affords the most
remarkable testimony possible to the excellence of Australia as a
dairyman's country. What will happen when the average doubles itself,
and attains, as it surely will, the moderate figure of 500 gallons per

A Phenomenal Growth.

Starting out with splendid natural advantages--a wide range of soils of
great fertility, indigenous grasses of high food value, and a congenial
climate--the dairying industry in Australia has made phenomenal strides.

The establishment throughout the chief districts of co-operative
factories, owned and managed by the farmers themselves, and the
introduction of cold storage greatly stimulated its growth. During the
last decade its advancement has been remarkable. The Australian dairy
industry is based on the world's markets. Every year the demand in
various countries for Australian and other dairy and farmyard products
increases, and the large home market is also expanding.

The facilities for supervision, handling, and transportation are
improving, and Australian dairymen to-day obtain high prices in both
local and outside markets for their produce. It is stated that in South
Australia dairymen who delivered good cream were able to secure from the
factories an average of $0.22 per lb. from the butter made therefrom.

The following table shows at once the advance of the dairying industry
(including poultry farming and bee culture):--

                                       TEN YEARS.
    |                         |      1902.     |      1912.     |Increase.|
    |Dairy Cows          No   | 1,113,911      |  2,086,885     | 87.34 % |
    |Pigs                No   |   777,289      |    845,255     |  8.88 % |
    |Hives               No   |    80,111      |    167,441     |109.01 % |
    |Production (quantity)--  |                |                |         |
    |  Butter                 |79,572,327 lbs. |187,194,161 lbs.|135.25 % |
    |  Cheese                 |10,005,787 lbs. | 16,160,491 lbs.| 61.50 % |
    |  Bacon and Ham          |30,608,345 lbs. | 54,192,175 lbs.| 77.05 % |
    |  Honey                  | 2,873,763 lbs. |  8,007,492 lbs.|178.63 % |
    |  Beeswax                |    68,243 lbs. |    130,959 lbs.| 91.90 % |

                                       FIVE YEARS.
    |                         |      1907.     |      1912.     |Increase.|
    |Production (total value) |$74,803,200.00  |$97,344,000.00  | 30.13 % |

                                       TEN YEARS.
    |                         |      1902.     |      1912.     |Increase.|
    |Exports (Value)--        |                |                |         |
    |  Butter                 | 1,820,371.20   | 16,044,681.60  |         |
    |  Cheese                 |    20,592.00   |     27,648.00  |         |
    |  Condensed Milk         |    55,689.60   |     92,308.80  |         |
    |  Bacon and Hams         |    37,060.80   |    328,814.40  |         |
    |  Lard                   |     6,100.80   |    177,902.40  |         |
    |  Frozen Pork            |    70,339.20   |     79,972.80  |         |
    |  Honey                  |     7,891.20   |      9,235.20  |         |
    |  Other items            |   269,246.40   |     78,859.20  |         |
    |        Total            |$2,287,291.20   |$16,839,422.40  |636.21 % |

[Illustration: In the Butter Factory.]

The United Kingdom purchases the great bulk of Australian butter--about
88 per cent.--but considerable quantities also go to Canada, Ceylon,
China, the Dutch East Indies, Egypt, Hongkong, the Islands of the
Pacific, Japan, Philippine Islands, the Straits Settlements and South

Besides the co-operative factories there are many proprietary concerns,
and the farmer is benefited by the keen competition between them. The
establishments in the Commonwealth where the manufacture of butter,
cheese, and condensed milk is carried on number several hundreds. They
are distributed throughout all the States, but they are larger and more
numerous in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.

[Illustration: In the Cheese Factory.]

Cream separation and butter-making are often carried on together under
the co-operative system. The creation of large central butter factories,
supplied by numerous separating establishments or "creameries," has
resulted in a considerable reduction in the cost of manufacture, since
improved appliances, such as refrigerators, may be profitably worked at
the larger establishments. The product is also of a more uniform
quality. The number of farmers who adhere to hand processes is rapidly
diminishing. Formerly the average quantity of milk used per lb. of
hand-made butter was about 3 gallons, but separator butter requires only
about 2.6 gallons.

State Supervision.

Each of the State Agricultural Departments exercises considerable
supervision in regard to the industry. Dairy experts are employed to
give instruction in approved methods of production, to examine animals,
to inspect the buildings used for milking, separating and butter-making,
and to examine the marketable produce. A high standard of dairy hygiene,
cleanliness of _personnel_ and _materiel_ and purity of produce have
also been insisted upon under State laws. Financial assistance has been
given to facilitate the economic handling of dairy products, and much
benefit has resulted, the advances having generally been promptly

For the maintenance of the purity and quality of Australian butter and
other dairy produce, the Commerce Act passed by the Commonwealth
Government requires that each of these articles shall conform to certain
standards. Butter intended for shipment oversea must be covered with a
true trade description, and that the following information should appear
on each box:--The word "Australia," the name of the State in which it
was produced, net weight, manufacturer's or exporter's name or
registered brand, and the words "pure creamery butter," "pastry butter,"
"milled butter" (that is, butter which is a mixture or blend of two or
more butters ordinarily packed alone and under separate names or
brands), or "repacked butter," as the case may require. Other matters
may be added, but must be true, and not liable to mislead. Margarine
must be so stamped or marked. All butter and other dairy products
intended for export must be sent for inspection to appointed places. The
inspecting officer issues a certificate on the authorised form that it
is up to the standard.

The regulations now in force contain important provisions in regard to
the standard for export dairy products. By means of these provisions
purity and quality are guaranteed. Trade is also facilitated, since
quantities of butter are purchased solely on the certificate issued,
without inspection. The standard for butter, the most important dairy
article, is as follows:--Butter which contains only--No fat other than
butter fat, not more than 16 per cent. of water, 3 per cent. of casein,
0.5 per cent. of boric acid, 4 per cent. of salt, or less than 82 per
cent. of butter fat; or any colouring matter deemed by the Minister for
Trade and Customs to be harmless.

[Illustration: Lucerne Hay.]

Subsidiary Industries.

_Pig-Raising._--Not least among the rural industries awaiting a far
wider development in Australia is that of pig raising. For very many
years the number of these animals raised in the different States showed
no appreciable increase, though of more recent years improvements in
this direction have been noticeable. Yet the rate of progress is quite
unequal to the requirements of local demand and of the export business.

Pig raising for years has been a kind of subsidiary industry to
dairying, and as such has seldom received the attention warranted by the
returns yielded. To some extent it has been the ease with which these
profits have been obtained that has brought about the condition of
affairs existent to within a few years ago. Pig raising now, instead of
being regarded merely as an adjunct to dairying, is being looked upon
much in the same light as is a main line whether connected with dairying
or general farming. This is indicated by the fact that where previously
any description of boar or sow was good enough to produce a litter, now
both farmers and dairymen are using chiefly the pedigree stock, and are
giving attention to the different crosses most likely to give the
largest litters suitable for bacon production, which can be brought into
condition for market in the quickest time. The introduction of these
businesslike methods has naturally resulted in greater gains, and has
further given a stimulus to the pig-raising industry.

The policy of closer settlement which is entering freely into the rural
development of the various States is furthermore causing farmers and
settlers to give more careful attention to any side industry which can
be made to return a good margin of profit on the labour expended. In
other words, the modern farmer is becoming more alive to the business
possibilities of what may be termed specialised production. It is in
this fact that the future development of the pig-raising industry
depends. A dairyman, general farmer, irrigationist, and even the
fruitgrower finds the pig of inestimable value in using up the waste
produce, and turning it into a commodity which will return high interest
in a remarkably short space of time.

This turn of events is making itself felt in other directions.
Bacon-curing establishments and co-operative factories are coming into
existence where formerly supplies would never have justified their
presence, and the result is that those who have suitable classes of pigs
to dispose of find no difficulty in turning them over at lucrative

This, however, can only be regarded as a commencement in the turn of
affairs, for with the increased demand and added facilities of
marketing, the sound establishment of the industry is each year becoming
more assured.

[Illustration: 1. A Modern Piggery.]

[Illustration: 2. Feeding pigs with corn grown on the farm.]

As an instance of the value of this side line to the settler, the
experience of a Victorian irrigated block owner, as related in the
columns of the Melbourne "Argus," is worth recording. Writing from
Rochester, Vic., the local correspondent reported as follows:--"The pig
industry is becoming of great and growing importance on our irrigation
holdings, and that settlers are recognising its great value as an
adjunct to dairying is proved by the fact that there are now on the
settlements four times as many pigs as there were a year ago. A leading
auctioneer estimates that, with improved facilities, the sales in
Rochester would in the near future amount to 1000 a month. The methods
adopted on the irrigation farm of Messrs. Jacob and Kennedy, at
Nannulla, show that pig raising is a leading factor in their success.
Mr. Jacob demonstrated that $192 per acre a year can be realised from
pigs reared almost wholly on lucerne, for half an acre suffices for the
sustenance of a brood sow and her progeny of about 20 per annum till
they are fit for market. Well-bred animals pay best, especially in the
case of the sire, for which a Yorkshire is recommended. Mr. Jacob is
prepared to submit his books and returns to those interested, as he did
to the writer.... It has to be observed that pig raising does not
require either the capital or experience demanded in the case of sheep."

These facts relate in a general way to the industry as it is possible to
be carried on in all parts of the Commonwealth. A dairy man or mixed
farmer finds that the carrying on of his work at a maximum of profit
involves the growth of a number of different crops with which to
supplement the rations of his dairy herd. Peas, barley, wheat, maize,
pumpkins, carrots, mangolds, lucerne, rape, and other crops are more or
less used for a succession. Each one of these is of special value from
the pig-raiser's standpoint. Both peas and barley have a high value for
fattening purposes, and some of the successful breeders maintain that
the addition of wheat contributes largely towards rapid development.
Similarly the root crops play an important part in the general rations,
whereas lucerne and rape make an admirable pasture for the running of
stores and breeding sows. General experience has shown that when pigs
which are being fattened for market have the run of a good pasture of
these crops they do better and fatten on much less food. Consequently
with some one or another or several of these crops to supplement the
skim milk provided by the dairying operations, no more favourable
conditions could well exist for the development of this adjunct to the
dairying industry.

With suitable root and pasture crops there is no reason why pig raising
should remain merely as an offshoot of dairying and farming operations.
It is sufficiently remunerative even when all food has to be purchased
on the open market to justify attention being devoted to raising alone.
But such circumstances do not enter into the operation of the industry
as managed in Australia. The close proximity of separating factories
would in many districts make it possible for a breeder to entirely
ignore the dairying side of the question. From these sources such
supplies of skim milk as were considered an advisable supplement to the
ordinary rations might easily be obtained. With only very limited
supplies of skim milk pig raising and fattening affords wide scope for
the investments of men with limited capital. F. C. Grace, of
Warrnambool, Victoria, who recently went into the matter of the cost of
producing pork, indicates the possibilities of the bacon industry in a
report furnished to the State Department of Agriculture. In this account
he states:--"Over 6 tons of live pork have been produced, and the
average cost per pound for all rations with pigs of all ages has been 4
cents. The actual selling price has been 10 cents per pound, but a
number of the pigs were sold as studs, somewhat above market price.
Taking the average of all pigs sold in the open yards for bacon
purposes, about 4-1/2 tons, the selling price was 10 cents per pound--a
margin of over 6 cents per pound over and above the cost of feed."

This statement is of interest as showing the position of the industry
when everything has been paid for at well above market rates for the
produce, and in a degree serves to emphasise the much-improved position
of the breeder who, with root crops and pasture land, is able to
dispense with the costs incurred in purchasing foods for fattening
purposes on the open market.

[Illustration: A Happy Family.]

Throughout the Commonwealth there is a difference of opinion regarding
the relative value of the manner in which the predominating breeds, the
Berkshire and Yorkshire, are crossed in raising pigs for market. This no
doubt will always exist, owing to predilection of breeders towards
particular types, and to the relative merits resulting from the various
crosses. The main point is that both breeds are wonderfully well suited
to Australian conditions, and that they are prolific. Brood sows will,
if kept in an ordinarily thrifty condition, farrow two litters of pigs
in the year, which will number from eight to twelve pigs to the litter.
If anything, the predominating cross favours the use of the Yorkshire
boar with the Berkshire sow. The cross has this advantage that the
litters will consist of all white pigs. The boar used should be pure and
the sow of good type, preferably three-quarter bred. The average litter
from such a cross is eight. These, if kept until about five months, will
weigh out at about 140 lbs., and at 12 cents per lb., the ruling price,
will return approximately $16.80 apiece, or $268.80 per year from each
sow. In some instances as many as five litters may be obtained during a
period of two years, but when this is done too much is taken out of the

Another aspect worth considering in the choice of crossing these two
breeds is that the Yorkshire sow is a better mother than the Berkshire,
and the litters produced are larger. In this case there is a lack of
uniformity in the colour of the litters, a fact which no doubt must
often cause slight depreciation when the marketing of large numbers of
pigs is taken into consideration. From experience in the Commonwealth
the middle Yorkshire of a pure strain is more favoured for breeding
purposes. He is a quicker grower, of hardy constitution, and as a rule a
better shaped pig for market requirements.

[Illustration: Typical Dairy Country.]

But while there are differences of opinion in the matter of breeds for
crossing purposes, it is clear that this subject has never been
exhaustively determined. For example, while there are advocates for the
maintenance of pure strains, and the crossing of the Tamworth with both
the black and white pigs, the large white Yorkshire is practically an
unknown quantity. Both in Great Britain and in Denmark this breed has
done more to establish the bacon industry than any other breed. Its
value is indorsed by experience at Dookie College, where the only pure
strain of the breed in Victoria is located. The Berkshire sow used with
the large white boar produces a shapely offspring, which takes on the
short snout of the sow with the pure white colouring of the boar. The
cross is a longer pig than the Berkshire, cleaner in the shoulder, but
with much the same conformation elsewhere. A common plan is to use all
the longest and deepest sows of the first cross for breeding baconers.
The pure large Yorkshire is not as economical as the Berkshire if
growing pigs for the pork trade, as it takes longer to mature. The sows,
however, average about ten to the litter, and some have fifteen or
sixteen. Only the fine-haired ones seem to scald, otherwise they stand
the sun as well as the Berks. They are good doers under a wide range of
conditions, prolific, vigorous, and more likely to do well under the
rough circumstances to which they are accustomed on most farms than the
more delicate Berkshires. When sold at the same time as other breeds and
crosses, they always top the market; and a half-truck realised over
$20.00 per head when sold in Melbourne under six months old.

So far as Australian experience has gone there is everything to indicate
that pig raising, while an extremely profitable occupation, has not yet
attained the results which may be expected to follow as more attention
is given to the choice of breeds, the selection of the hogs, and
fecundity on the part of the sow. These are all matters which from the
ordinary farming standpoint have never been gone into thoroughly. That
pig raising will pay and does yield handsome returns is admitted, yet
when so many avenues of improvement are open, it cannot be said that the
industry is receiving the attention it deserves. Up to the present
farmers and dairymen have been chiefly concerned with raising the pigs,
disposing of them perhaps at two months, or, as more often is the case,
of keeping them on till four months, when they are topped off and sent
to market to bring what can be realised. Many send away their pigs too
fat, and few engaged in the general branches of agriculture really give
the animals full attention over the growing period.

[Illustration: Dam, Western Australia.]

With the advent of the factories which are springing up in all the
States, this condition of things will no doubt give place to better
methods. In the first place breeders will be assured of markets for all
the pigs produced, and, secondly, the differences in values of prime
baconers will direct more attention to the greater profits for this
class of produce.

[Illustration: A well-established Dairy Farm, New South Wales Coast.]

That there is opportunity for a great increase in pig raising is shown
by the fact that Great Britain pays annually to foreign countries
$91,200,000.00 for pig products. Statistics show that two great sources
of supply to the British market (United States and Canada) are gradually
but surely declining, and before long must cease altogether on account
of the rapid increase in population, and the consequent increased food
requirements in those countries. In Denmark we cannot expect to see any
great increase in production, as the limit also has been nearly reached.
Holland and Sweden are the only other European countries from which we
may anticipate competition. The rapid growth of the population in
Central Europe increases the food requirements of those countries, where
there is already a short supply of animal foods generally. The present
condition of the industry shows that there is a possibility of the
Commonwealth building up a large export trade, even though local demands
are increasing, at prices which are higher than they were ten or twelve
years ago, when the number of pigs in the Commonwealth was scarcely a
thousand head more than at the present time. At the Franco-British
Exhibition the grand champion prize against the world was secured by
Australia for pig products in the form of frozen pork, as well as in
hams and bacon.

_Poultry-farming._--The fact that Australian hens and ducks have broken
all records in laying competitions serves to indicate the suitability of
the country for poultry-raising. On general farms, where the birds live
on food that may otherwise be wasted, poultry are a source of
considerable profit. The opinion of the Scottish Commission was that
"Australia possesses natural conditions of almost unequalled value for
the profitable keeping of poultry. In climate, soil, shelter, and in
natural food she has the essential attributes to success."
Poultry-farming is carried on together with wheat or dairying or pig
farming, but in many places the raising of poultry is carried on as a
single line. Poultry for consumption is extensively reared, and the
egg-producing qualities of the birds have also been greatly improved by
careful breeding. Egg collecting circles have been formed in some
country districts, to develop (under Government supervision and with
Government aid until the organisation is self-supporting) the industry
on co-operative lines. A member of the circle is elected to act as
secretary, and he receives all the eggs from the members, tests, packs,
and forwards them to the metropolitan depot for shipment. Only clean and
fresh eggs are to be delivered to the secretary under penalty of fine
and expulsion from the circle. Another method of collecting and
marketing the eggs is through the local butter factories, where eggs are
delivered by the suppliers of milk and cream a number of times each

[Illustration: Government Farm.--Pens at Burnley, Victoria, for
Egg-laying Competition.]

_Bee-farming._--Bee-farming has ordinarily been an adjunct to the
agricultural or dairying industries, and can hardly yet be said to have
been organised as a distinct industry. There are many prosperous bee
farms in the Commonwealth. The indigenous flora is rich in nectar, and
the quantities of honey stored in single hives are astonishingly large,
sometimes reaching 400 lbs.

[Illustration: White Leghorns.]

With the farmyard and dairy products of the Commonwealth standing now at
over $96,000,000.00 per annum, the industry may be said to be well in
its infancy.

Under the large irrigation projects being carried out in several of the
States there are splendid opportunities opening up for the carrying on
of all these industries, either separately or in conjunction.

Share Farming.

The system of farming on shares is common in several branches of
Australian farming, including dairying. To the intelligent and
industrious man with a limited amount of capital, the system offers many
opportunities for success. Practical dairymen, and especially those with
children over fourteen years of age, may obtain a farm on shares. The
arrangements made between landlords and their tenants on shares are not
uniform. They differ considerably in individual cases, but the following
broad outlines of the arrangements made between the parties may be set
down as having a more or less universal application.

As a general rule the landlord provides--

     (a) The land cleared and fenced into convenient paddocks.
     (b) The dairy herd.
     (c) Cowbails and piggeries.
     (d) All necessary utensils and implements.
     (e) Dwelling.

On the other hand, the tenant supplies--

     (a) All the labour--milks the cows, separates the cream and carts
          it to the nearest butter factory.
     (b) His own horse and cart.
     (c) Cultivates sufficient land to grow green fodder for the winter.

In some instances the share farmer buys his own dairy utensils, but in
the greater number of cases the landowner provides them and keeps them
in repair. The sharing of the profits depends largely upon the character
of the farm. As a general rule the tenant receives from one-third to
one-half of the proceeds of all cream or butter sold. He also receives
from one-third to one-half the value of the pigs raised, and from $1.20
to $1.80 per head for each calf reared to the age of six months. A man
is generally given as many cows to milk as he can conveniently manage
and care for.

[Illustration: In the Cheese Factory.]

There are cases which can be pointed to where a tenant farmer after even
paying for assistance, makes a profit of from $67.20 to $96.00 every

It is not possible to state definitely the size of herd that any
individual can manage, but it is by no means uncommon to see a herd of
forty head, with from twenty-five to thirty cows in milk at a time,
managed comfortably by a man and his wife and one sturdy boy or girl of
fifteen or sixteen years of age. The average returns from a fairly good
herd, in the majority of districts, may be stated at $4.80 per head per
month, and as each cow will be milking for seven to eight months at
least, and there will be the calves and ample separated milk for a good
many pigs, it will be seen that there is at least a fair living to be
made, especially when it is remembered that the share dairy farmer,
under the ordinary arrangements, is living rent free and under
conditions which enable him to keep household expenses at a minimum.

The conditions regarding cropping and keeping the farm implements in
repair and caring for the dairy herd are not onerous, and are such as no
good tenant could object to.

[Illustration: An Extensive Milking Shed.]

Men who contemplate undertaking this class of farming should submit the
fullest possible details of their experience and qualification to enable
the officers of the Government Information Bureau to make arrangements
which will permit of settlement immediately on arrival. It is needless
to remind experienced dairymen that any owner of dairy cows naturally
feels it necessary to know a good deal about anyone to whom he is to
entrust the sole management of a good herd.

[Illustration: Young Dairy Stock.]

Monetary Aid to Settlers.

Besides aiding the settler in the various ways already mentioned, viz.,
by providing the expert personal instruction and advice of officers of
the Agricultural Departments, in regard to feeding, breeding,
management, and other matters, by the importation of high-class stud
cattle, and making them available at cheap rates for herd improvement,
and in the granting of facilities for the transportation and marketing
of his produce, the Governments of the Australian States assist the
dairyman with loans of cheap money. The Advances to Settlers' Board or
Agricultural Bank in each of the States, lend money to settlers for the
purpose of repaying existing debts, for building homes, for purchasing
stock, or for improving and developing their holdings. The sums which
may be advanced and the terms and conditions of the loans vary in
different States. Broadly speaking, however, a settler may obtain on the
security of his land or of his improvements sums ranging from $120.00 to
$9600.00 at rates of interest varying from 4 per cent. to 6 per cent. on
easy terms of repayment extending over a long period of years up to, as
in the States of New South Wales and South Australia, thirty-one years.


In the coastal districts of New South Wales and throughout a vast extent
of the northern and central tableland districts dairy farming is a
profitable and constantly-expanding industry.

In the older settled district of Illawarra, comprising the greater
portion of the south coast district, dairying has been the main industry
for many years, and there is not much first-class land unoccupied. There
is, however, in this district ample scope for tenant farmers and for
dairying on shares on several large estates where the experienced man of
small means with children old enough to help in the work can make a good
living, and save with the object of later on obtaining a farm of his
own. In the north coast district the strides being made in dairying are
phenomenal. There is a fair amount of first-class unimproved bush
country available for settlement on the upper reaches of the Tweed and
Richmond Rivers, and large estates have been subdivided by private
owners, and offered for sale on very easy terms at from $19.20 to $28.80
per acre. Many farmers who find that better returns can be obtained by
carrying a decreased number of specially good cows on a small area
intensively worked are ready to dispose of areas, so that a new-comer
with capital necessary to acquire land in this highly-favoured district
can soon be suited. Owing to the big returns from dairying in the best
parts of the settled portions of the north coast, land values are high,
ranging to over $96.00 per acre.

Suitable areas of Crown lands are brought forward from time to time in
districts adapted for dairying at prices, as a rule, lower than the
lands in private subdivisions.

In the central and north coast district there are several large private
subdivisions of excellent dairy land. In the tableland districts, where
the rainfall averages 30 in. per annum, dairy farming has taken firm
hold. Private owners are also cutting up tracts of splendid
partially-improved land, and offering it at from $19.20 to $28.80 per
acre, on liberal terms.

The natural grasses of New South Wales, especially in the well-watered
districts along the coast, grow in great luxuriance, and are rich in
milk-producing qualities. In many districts imported grasses, such as
Rhodes, Paspalum dilatatum, and Philaris, rye grass and red clover have
been introduced, and soon become well established. In the most
favourable portions of the State farmers are able to depend almost
solely on the grazing qualities of their farms, although the experts of
the Department strongly assert the wisdom of growing winter feed.

New South Wales has many fine herds of all the approved breeds. The
Jersey is perhaps the most popular, but there are also many good herds
of Ayrshires, Guernseys, Holsteins, and other approved breeds.

The co-operative system flourishes in New South Wales. Every important
centre has its own co-operative butter, cheese or bacon factory. The
Byron Bay Co-operative Company, situated in the heart of the rich north
coast district, has an enormous turnover in the neighbourhood of
$4,800,000.00 sterling each year, and is at least one of the largest
concerns of its kind in the world.

[Illustration: Calm II.--Champion Jersey Cow.]

To stock a dairy farm of 100 acres, the detailed cost of stock and plant
necessary to make a good start, exclusive of a bull, is given by
practical farmers as follows:--

     30 Cows at $31.20                                          936.00
     10 Heifers, springing, at $24.00                           240.00
     2 Plough Horses at $86.40                                  172.80
     Harness for plough horses                                   31.20
     Pigs--2 sows at $10.08; one hog at $15.60                   35.28
     Separator, cans, buckets, etc.                             240.00
     Cart and harness                                            86.40
     Plough, $21.60; harrow, $14.40; cultivator, $12.00          48.00
     Sundry tools, etc.                                          24.00

     Including the bull the cost might roughly be put down at $1920.00


For the past twenty years dairy farming in Victoria has been steadily
advancing. The industry has proved very successful, so that thousands of
farmers are not only making a comfortable living from it, but in many
cases it has raised hard-working families into positions of comparative
wealth. The principal markets supplied are those of Great Britain,
South Africa, India, and the East. At present the industry is only in
its infancy. It is capable of almost unlimited expansion. So far,
farmers have confined their attention almost exclusively to butter, but
the first steps have also been successfully taken to manufacture cheese
and condensed milk, and to open up a regular market for fresh pork,
hams, and bacon.

[Illustration: How the Dairy Fodder Question is Settled in Australia.]

A large portion of Victoria is suitable for dairy farming on account of
the suitability of soil for the production of pasture and fodder crops,
and the mild climatic conditions. For the most part the cows are fed
solely on the natural pastures, little provision either in the way of
food or shelter being thought necessary. Progressive farmers, however,
find that it pays them to grow fodder for their herd and to shelter the
animals in the winter, and anyone beginning in Victoria is advised to
make up his mind to cultivate a certain area of his land from the first,
instead of trusting to grazing alone.

[Illustration: Shorthorn Cattle.]

The southern half of Victoria is divided, roughly speaking, into the
Western District and Gippsland. Two-thirds of the dairy cows are kept in
these portions of the State. The Western District is famed for its rich
soil of volcanic origin. Every town and hamlet has its butter factory.

Gippsland is a district of rolling hills and downs, and of a
comparatively heavy rainfall. Many parts were once covered with dense
forests, but these are rapidly passing away before the pioneer.
Practically every railway station has become a centre of the dairying
industry, and cans of cream are always in evidence on the platforms.
Owing to its suitable climate Gippsland has become the centre of maize
growing in the State, and much of this crop reaches the market in the
form of butter and pork.

In the north the summers are warmer and drier, but the soil is perhaps
even more prolific than in the southern parts of Victoria. Large areas
are suitable for dairy farming under ordinary conditions, and extensive
water storage works have been provided for the irrigation of large
tracts of country which is being made available in suitable areas for
dairying under very liberal conditions.

The manufacturing and marketing of the butter is carried on, to a very
large extent, on a co-operative basis, the factories being owned and
managed by the farmers who supply the cream. Two hundred factories are
scattered throughout the State, the largest of them producing upwards of
40 tons of butter per week in the height of the season. Where the farm
is close to the factory the milk is taken to the creamery, where it is
separated, and the corresponding quantity of skim milk is returned to
the farmer. In other cases the farmer owns his separator, the milk is
passed through the machine as soon as the cows are milked, and the cream
is sent to the factory by road or rail every day or two, according to
the size of the farm.

[Illustration: Dairy Factory--Refrigerating Butter Train.]

Government Assistance to the Farmer.

Every branch of the producing interests is steadily fostered by the
Government of Victoria in a way that may sound strange to the British
farmer. Besides the facilities for acquiring farms and homes, the
Government employs dairy supervisors, who assist the farmer with
information and advice on matters relating to the farm and herd. The
produce is conveyed by the railways (which belong to the Government) at
special low rates. It is received into the Government cool stores, where
it is graded and frozen ready for export. The State has contracts with
the principal lines of steam-ships, securing regular despatch, a minimum
temperature, and a very low rate of freight for the British markets. It
costs less to send butter from a farm in Victoria to London than it does
to send it from a farm in Ireland.

[Illustration: "Miss Prim," Champion Ayrshire Cow.]


Queensland as a Dairying Country.

Queensland, especially in its southern portions and along its coastal
areas, is particularly well adapted for dairying. Large areas of
magnificent soil exist, such as the Darling Downs, Lockyer, Stanley,
Rosewood, Fassifern, Logan, Albert, Wide Bay, Burnett, and other
districts, which, in addition to being well watered by rivers and
creeks, enjoy a perfect winter climate. It is in these localities that
dairying principally flourishes.

While in Southern Queensland and on some of the northern tablelands it
is desirable to rug milch cows during the winter months, up north, along
the eastern coastland, it is not necessary.

Along the eastern seaboard, which is well watered by running rivers and
creeks, the Blackall Range is becoming an important dairy centre. This
district lies to the north of Brisbane, and is a mountainous region
containing exceedingly fertile soil.

Further north again, on the coast, there are large areas in the Burnett,
Gladstone, Rockhampton, and Bowen districts suitable for dairying, and
in these localities it is rapidly extending. Despite this, there still
remain immense tracts as yet untouched by the dairy farmer, which are
capable of being successfully brought under the Butter Industry.
Considerable portions of the northern tablelands, and parts of Central
Queensland, are also suitable for dairying, and a beginning has already
been made in these localities. Large numbers of dairy cattle are being
imported into the Atherton district in the North.

As yet, only a fractional part of the country able to support a large
dairying population has been touched.

Dairy Land and Stock.

The class of land chiefly used for dairying is open forest country,
plain scrub land, and rich alluvial flats. The scrub lands have first to
be cleared by felling the scrub and burning it off when dry. When
cleared, scrub soils are more prolific than any other. Cost of clearing
is about $7.20 to $9.60 per acre, and in some cases more.

[Illustration: Ayrshire Dairy Cows Grazing.]

The price varies according to locality. Remoteness or proximity to
market have to be considered. It is essential for the dairy farmer to be
near a railway. The intending settler can either select Crown lands from
the Government, at prices varying from $0.60 to $4.80 and upwards, or if
he has some capital he can purchase a freehold farm. Good dairy freehold
land can be bought from $14.40 to $24.00 per acre, but close to the
railway in the older farming districts it reaches up to $96.00 per acre.

[Illustration: "Ladylike," Ayrshire Dairy Cow.]

In ordinary times $24.00 to $38.40 is paid for a good average cow;
heifers up to $21.60. Similar prices rule, generally speaking, in regard
to all the States. An ordinary cow would earn from $2.40 to $4.20; and a
good cow from $4.80 to $6.00 a month, whilst in profit, on an eight
months' average milking.

Dairy Breeds in Use.

The milking breeds most in use in Queensland are the Ayrshire, Jersey,
and Milking Shorthorns. Herds of Holsteins, Guernseys, and other breeds
have also been established. Some fine specimens of these dairy cattle
are to be seen throughout the State, and at the large annual shows of
pure-bred stock, held at Brisbane, Toowoomba, and other centres.

The Queensland Agricultural College, a State institution, breeds
high-class dairy bulls for sale to farmers, and herds are being also
raised on the State Farms.

Cows should bring in not less than $3.00 per month, or be turned out as
useless. The average is about $3.72. Up-to-date men will not keep a cow
who does not average this for her milking.

Cost of Starting on 160 Acres.

This, of course, varies with the circumstances of the case, and depends
largely on whether a man has the capital to push forward his operations,
or is content to gradually get his land into working order. A man with
$720.00 to $1032.00 could make a good start. If the land was taken up at
$2.40 per acre from the Crown, his first year's deposit would be $18.24,
and he would have sufficient to fence the land, buy some cows, and put
up some sort of a house. Necessarily a settler does not spend much on
his house at first until he has made some money. On the other hand, many
of the most prosperous farmers in Queensland have started with only a
few pounds, sufficient to pay their first year's rent. By fencing his
land himself, the settler can save a good deal of expense. And by
working for neighbouring farmers, he can gradually acquire money to buy
stock from time to time.

On the other hand, if he wishes to begin straight away, and has a little
money, he can get assistance from the Agricultural Bank, a Government
institution, which advances $0.60 in the $ towards improvements, and
$0.50 in the $ for stock, machinery, and implements, charging 5 per
cent. simple interest.

     Rent--1st year's deposit and survey fee                  18.24
     Fencing--2 miles at 96.00 per mile
       (posts 12 feet apart and 3 barbs)                     192.00
     12 Cows at $28.80 per cow                               345.60
     2 Horses at $72.00                                      144.00
     Plough                                                   28.80
     Harness                                                  24.00
     Swingle bars and chains                                   6.00
     House--24 × 12 feet, slabbed and floored,
       at $4.80 per foot                                     115.20
     Milking-shed                                             24.00
     Yard                                                     48.00
     30-gallon Separator                                      60.00
     Cart (second-hand)                                       24.00

Some small items, such as rations, milk-room, tinware, &c., have not
been included in the estimate. If the fencing were erected personally,
the cost would be materially reduced. If the settler built his own
house, it would cost him little more than his own labour and the iron
for the roof.

Many beginners put up cheap sapling yards for a start, and at a nominal
cost. This would materially reduce this estimate.

The Average Herd.

The average herd is about thirty head, but many farmers milk from 80 to
150 cows daily. The number of cows that could be kept on an average farm
of, say, 160 acres depends entirely on the land, and the amount of
cultivation or area under artificial grasses. From thirty to eighty head
would be about a fair estimate that good land would carry.

One dairy farmer in the West Moreton, who landed in Queensland
twenty-five years ago with $0.36 in his pocket, now has 160 acres of
freehold, of which he cultivates 50 acres for feed for his cows and
pigs. He began by working for his neighbours for the first few years,
and thus gained both cash and experience. He now milks thirty to fifty
cows the whole year round, and he makes from $720.00 to $864.00 a year
from his pigs. His income from all sources is from $1920.00 to $2400.00
per annum. Six or seven years ago he paid $5280.00 for the place, but
to-day he would not take $14,400.00 for it, and there is not a penny of
debt on the property.

[Illustration: An up-to-date Milking Shed.]


The natural grasses of Queensland are sufficient in ordinary seasons
during the summer months for the dairy stock, but no farmer can
successfully carry on dairy operations in dry times, or in winter, by
means of the grass alone. He requires to supplement the grass by growing
fodder for the winter months.

Splendid results have been obtained by sowing artificial grasses, such
as Paspalum dilatatum, Rhodes, Prairie, Guinea, and Giant Couch grasses.

Winter Feed.

Barley, lucerne, wheat, rye, sorghum, &c., can be grown for winter feed.
On land which will grow lucerne, a certain supply of fodder can be
conserved. Lucerne (or alfalfa, as it is called in America), once
planted, will last from five to ten years.

The butter factories were first started by proprietary companies, and
their cream depots were scattered all over the farming districts.
Competition was exceedingly keen, and in some of the townships there
were four or five rival cream depots, all endeavouring to get the
biggest shares of the cream.

[Illustration: Jersey Cows.]

Of late, a number of co-operative factories run by the farmers have
started, and proved very successful, enabling their shareholders to get
a higher price for their cream than hitherto. They are admirably
managed, are essentially popular institutions, and have done splendid

The farmers establish, manage, and work them, and the profits, instead
of going into the pockets of the middlemen, are distributed among the

State Aid to Co-operative Factories.

Under a vote by Parliament the State makes advances to farmers to
establish co-operative dairy factories. The loans extend over a period
of fourteen years, and 4 per cent. interest is charged.

Condensed Milk.

The Preserved and Condensed Milk Industry promises to become important
in the near future. Six factories are now in operation.

Messrs. Nestle and Co., the world-renowned firm, have invested
$480,000.00 in their Preserved Milk Industry in Queensland. It speaks
well for a country when an old-world firm such as this is prepared to
invest so largely.


A large area of South Australia is eminently adapted to successful
dairying, and while the summer is dry, rendering it necessary to make
provision for succulent feed for several months, the temperate nature of
the climate enables the dairyman to keep his cows in the open right
through the year, the natural shelter in timber country being
sufficient, except on a limited number of days of extreme wet and cold.
Stall feeding for weeks at a time is unknown; the necessary shelter
sheds can be cheaply provided, while the labour of feeding is, under
these conditions, reduced to a minimum. In the northern districts
conditions are not so favourable as in the south, but even here dairying
can be profitably carried on; the fact that land is much cheaper
compensates for the shorter period during which the natural herbage
supplies practically all the feed required. In some of the driest of our
farming areas dairying has largely replaced wheat-growing, and, although
the yield per cow is naturally not so high as under more favourable
conditions, still low rents and large areas of natural pasture enable
the farmer to make a fair profit.

[Illustration: The Cream Cart, North Coast, N.S.W.]

The Dairy Industry, though of considerable magnitude, has not made as
much progress as was anticipated. This is probably due to the fact that
wheat-growing and sheep-breeding combined offer greater attractions to
the farmer. These industries require a great deal less labour than
dairying, besides which the work is not so continuous. So long as highly
profitable returns can be obtained from the production of cereals and
the breeding of lambs, the Dairying Industry is hardly likely to make
the progress that would otherwise be possible, though there has of late
years been steady and continued development in the industry, especially
in the northern districts. In the south and south-east, where conditions
are more suitable, there has, on the other hand, been very little

Large quantities of butter are exported to Broken Hill and West
Australia throughout the year, while during the spring months shipments
are made to Great Britain.

Butter is exported in increasing quantities to Great Britain each year.
In normal years from 1400 to 1600 tons are shipped.

Cheese is not made on such an extensive scale proportionately to butter;
indeed, in some seasons sufficient for local consumption is not
produced. Practically all the cheese is manufactured on the Cheddar
system, and an article of very high quality is produced in the best

Special facilities are afforded by the railways for the conveyance of
perishable goods, and cream is forwarded by the dairyman to the city
factories from districts 300 miles distant. Payment is usually made on
the butter-fat percentages; and in order to afford suppliers an
opportunity of checking the returns received from private factories the
Government established a butter factory in connection with the export
freezing works at Port Adelaide. At this factory every can of cream is
sampled, and the quantity of butter it will produce is ascertained by
the usual methods, and the supplier is paid accordingly.

A considerable number of butter factories have been erected in South
Australia, and the butter produced is generally of high quality. The
butter made from the milk of cows grazing on the natural herbage of the
country is of splendid quality and colour. Hand separators are in
general use, the cream being sent to the factories for treatment. The
percentage of butter-fat in the milk of cows grazing on the natural
pastures is unusually high.

Practically the whole of the midland, central, and south-east districts,
excepting that portion east of the Murray, are suitable for dairying
practice when carried out on systematic lines. The prices for such land
for dairying would range from $24.00 to $240.00 per acre according to
location, soil, and rainfall. No special terms are offered by the
Government for the occupation of dairy lands. Most of the repurchased
estates are in districts suitable for dairying, and these are allotted
under covenant to purchase. The purchase money is paid off in seventy
half-yearly instalments (the first ten bearing interest only at the rate
of 4 per cent. on purchase money). Purchase money may be completed at
any time after nine years. Reliable particulars of successful dairying
are difficult to obtain. It is safe to say that there are many hundreds
of dairymen making comfortable livings throughout the State.

[Illustration: Fodder Crops--Lucerne, Mangels, Rape.]

Capital may be safely expended for dairy practice, especially by careful
and intelligent men who have families, and they may depend upon making a
good living, especially when they combine dairy practice with
pig-raising. There are many instances where gross returns are obtained
of from $38.40 to $72.00 per cow per annum, and this in districts where
the milk is sold to the local co-operative or private factories, but
where they are situated within forty miles of Adelaide, and are able to
take advantage of a good train service, they can deliver their milk to
the capital and obtain gross returns equal to about $76.80 to $96.00 per
cow per annum.

[Illustration: Interior of a Cheese Factory.]


The Dairying Industry has not developed as rapidly as other branches of
farming in the State during recent years. The cause of this is
attributable to various reasons, one of the number of which has been the
difficulty of obtaining suitable farm labourers. The majority of young
men who have embarked in farming in the Western State during the last
decade have favoured the lightly-timbered belts more suitable for wheat
and sheep raising in preference to the heavily-timbered land suitable
for dairying situated in the coastal districts of the south-west. That
there is in the State an enormous area of land which is eminently
adaptable to the growing of fodders necessary for successful dairying
has been amply demonstrated. Since 1905 indefatigable efforts to advance
the Dairying Industry have been made. An estate at Brunswick, in the
vicinity of Bunbury, about 100 miles south of Perth, was purchased by
the Government, and 800 acres of it was vested in the Department of
Agriculture for the purpose of a State Dairy Farm, on lines that could
be copied by a practical dairy farmer; also--

     (1) For supplying stud stock of the best strains procurable at
          reasonable prices to dairy farmers.
     (2) To demonstrate that with the assistance of irrigation a small
          acreage of land can be made to carry a large number of stock.
     (3) Where a variety of fodder crops can be introduced, and
          experimented with so as to ascertain their value for feeding-off,
          both in a green state for curing into hay or for preserving into
          big silos in a succulent form.

Capacious cow and calf stables, suitable sheds, and piggeries were
designed and constructed as an example to be followed in starting an
up-to-date dairy farm. A herd of dairy cows, of some of the best
Ayrshire strains in Australia, was collected, as well as a fine number
of Berkshire pigs, purchased from the most successful breeders and
importers. Three large tub silos, capable of holding 250 tons of fodder,
were erected in which to store winter-grown crops as well as the summer
crops under irrigation.

[Illustration: "Crown Prince," Guernsey Bull.]

An irrigation scheme was carried out, and the results have been most
successful. The following dairy fodder crops have yielded
prolifically:--Oats, rye, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, vetches, field
peas, cow peas, lucerne, mustard, Jersey kale, field cabbage, turnips,
swedes, mangel wurzel, silver beet, buckwheat, potatoes, linseed, pig
melon, paspalum, Italian canary grass. The irrigation plant is capable
of dealing with 80 acres of land in the summer months. Some of the land
thus treated is the rich dark alluvial on the river bank, while a
portion is on the higher clay plateau, and consists of land typical of
many thousands of acres in the same locality. The land in its virgin
state was timbered with red gum and flooded gum, and cost about $38.40
an acre to grub and clear, and on such land with irrigation in the
summer two heavy crops a year can be depended on.

[Illustration: Milking Shed.]

Shortly after the State Farm was established the Government purchased
over 500 dairy cows in the eastern States, and these were sold to
Western Australian farmers in lots of ten at cost price on two-year
terms, with 5 per cent. interest added.

The Government engaged a highly-qualified dairy expert in the person of
Mr. Kinsella, of New Zealand, to visit the districts most likely to give
attention to the dairying industry in the immediate future, and by means
of personal interviews, addresses, leaflets, and concisely-written
pamphlets, Mr. Kinsella did valuable work in distributing information
and directing the beginner on the right road to successful dairying. Mr.
Kinsella subsequently severed his connection with the department, and he
has been recently succeeded by Mr. Abernethy, who has obtained the very
highest diplomas in England in connection with dairying. Mr. Abernethy
recently arrived from Great Britain, and has now entered upon his
duties, and it is confidently believed that his efforts will result in a
number of farmers being induced to embark in the industry on sound and
practical lines. The new selector will also have the benefit and the
advice of the Director of Agriculture, Mr. McNulty, on all matters
concerning his soil, his stock, and the marketing of his produce.

Lands for Dairy Farming.

With a view to settling practical farmers with limited means on the rich
and heavily-timbered lands in the southern portion of the State the
Government have a large number of surveyors at work surveying the land
into suitable sized blocks, ranging from 200 to 700 acres each. Main
roads have been cleared to serve these areas, and a proposal to clear 10
acres on each block for the plough is now under consideration. Railways
will be pushed through this country as rapidly as possible. The annual
average rainfall over this country averages from 35 in. to 40 in., and
the land contains some of the richest soil in the State.

Price of Land.

The price of land ranges from about $4.80 to $19.20 an acre, and each
new selector over sixteen years of age will have the right to
practically a free grant of 160 acres, additional land being available
at approximately the prices quoted, the payments for which will be
spread over twenty years without interest. The selector will also have
the privilege of borrowing from the State Agricultural Bank for
ringbarking, clearing, water conservation, and subsequently for stock
and implements, the loan being repaid over a term of thirty years, for
the first five years of which interest only at the rate of 5 per cent.
per annum will be payable. Prior to the blocks being thrown open the
prices will be advertised and the amount of loan the bank is prepared to
advance to suitable applicants on each block will be fixed.

[Illustration: Devon Cattle in Australia.]

[Illustration: Prime Herd of Jerseys.]

Butter Factories.

At the present time there are three butter factories operating in the
State, and no doubt when the Dairying Industry has developed
sufficiently a number of co-operative factories will be started.

The men who decide to devote their energies to the Dairying Industry
will have the advantage of a magnificent local market to start on, as at
the present time Western Australia is sending something like $4800.00 a
day to the eastern States for dairy produce.


The conditions of Tasmania are eminently favourable for dairy farming.
Up till recent years the industry did not receive much attention, but
now that a start has been made butter production is advancing rapidly.

The Land Required.

The foundation of the Dairying Industry is grass, and to get grass, good
land and plenty of moisture is required. Therefore anyone proposing to
go into this business should endeavour to secure the very best land
obtainable. There is a large quantity available, especially in the
north-western and north-eastern parts of the island. There is a great
deal also in the southern districts. Information can always be obtained
from the Lands Department and the district surveyors, and no difficulty
should be experienced by the intending dairy farmer in finding land
suitable for his purpose. The more open parts of the State, such as the
midlands and the east coast, where there is natural grass, have largely
passed into private hands, and later selectors have had to take up,
clear, and lay down in pasture the more heavily-timbered portions. This,
however, is not altogether the handicap it appears at first sight, as
the returns from the very rich scrub lands are by far the highest. It is
easy to judge of the quality of land by the indigenous timber upon it.
Rich land, suitable for laying down in grass, is covered with a dense
growth of sassafras, tree-fern, musk, and pear tree, with large blue or
swamp gums, and an underbush of what are known as cathead ferns.
Stringy-bark trees mean a poorer soil, and any land bearing them should
be avoided if possible.

Any person of eighteen years of age and upwards may select an area not
exceeding 200 acres of first-class land, provided he does not hold land
on credit under any previous Act. He is required to pay a cash deposit
of $0.04 an acre at the time of sale, an instalment of $0.06 an acre for
each of the two following years, $0.24 an acre annually for the next
four years, $0.36 an acre for the next four years, and $0.48 per acre
for the next eight years. The survey fee is paid, one-fifth in cash and
the balance by four equal annual payments, with interest added, unless
the selector elects to pay it off at once, when interest is remitted.
Every encouragement short of giving the fee simple of the land away for
nothing is afforded the intending settler, and he can acquire a freehold
on easier terms in Tasmania than anywhere else.

[Illustration: Ayrshire Herd, New South Wales.]

Clearing the Land.

Clearing a selection for dairy farming is a very different operation
from the clearing required for fruit-growing. Where the land is to be
laid down in pasture, no ploughing has to be done, consequently the
cost is very much less. In clearing land for grass it is the best plan
to first of all "ring" all the eucalyptus trees. This consists in
cutting a ring round the tree with axes through the bark and sapwood, or
alburnum, into the brown wood beneath. The crude sap, bearing in
solution the various organic matters which the roots have extracted from
the soil, ascends by the outer layer of wood immediately beneath the
bark to the leaves, where it is elaborated into plant food. When this
layer is cut through, the food supply is immediately stopped, and the
tree dies. The operation of ringing is best done during the winter, when
the sap is down, and if properly performed at the right time the tree
always dies very soon. If possible, the ringing should be done a year or
two before the general clearing is commenced, as all the dead leaves,
small branches, and dead bark have time to fall, and are then burned off
with the rest of the scrub. The next operation is to cut down all the
brushwood and smaller growths with bill-hooks, and then the rest of the
scrub is felled with axes, and allowed to lie until quite dry, when it
is burned off. A good burn should leave very little to be cleared up,
but sometimes, where there is such vegetation as sassafras or fallen
tree-ferns, a good deal of "picking-up" has to be done. This means that
all the unburnt timber on the ground has to be rolled together and
burnt. Tree-ferns should not be felled, as they do not burn well. The
best way of killing them is to cut off the fronds just below where they
spring from the stem. Some knack is required to cut in just the right
place, but it is easily acquired. There are certain precautions to be
observed in burning-off, which the settler should make himself
acquainted with. Information on this point and in regard to any matters
of practical interest to the beginner will be furnished gladly and
without charge by experienced officers of the Department of Agriculture.

[Illustration: Clearing the Land.]

As soon as the land is burnt off the grass may be sown upon it. No
cultivation is usually given, the grass-seed being sown upon the ashes
remaining from the burnt scrub, which forms very effective manure.
Cocksfoot is the grass par excellence for this work, as it is very hardy
and nutritious, and not attacked by insect pests to the same extent as
others. Sometimes a mixture of cocksfoot, English rye-grass, and white
clover is used, or the two grasses alone are planted. Local information
is the best guide obtainable as to what it is best to plant. Dairying
thus becomes practicable in a year or two, and returns are received much
sooner than from any other branch of agriculture. It will, of course, be
necessary to clear a certain amount of the selection for cultivation, so
that crops may be grown, and it is often better and cheaper in the end
to devote the poorer and less heavily timbered parts of the holding to
this purpose, and buy manure. Some selectors clean up a part of the
ground of roots and logs, leaving all the big ringed timber standing,
and plough it up. It requires some skill to steer a plough under these
conditions, but very good crops can be grown in this way.

Butter Factories.

Properly equipped butter factories are situated at Launceston (2),
Deloraine, Burnie, Emu Bay, Wynyard, Stanley, Smithton, Wilmot,
Ringarooma, Derby, and Pyengana. In the south there are only two of any
magnitude, one in Hobart, and the other at Bream Creek. A well-equipped
factory has been established on King Island, in Bass Straits, a locality
that has been found very suitable for dairying.

Dairy Herds.

The dairy herds of the State until a few years ago were of a somewhat
nondescript type, very few farmers having realised the necessity of
improving the butter-yielding capacity of their stock. Recently,
however, great improvements have taken place, as the dairying industry
has advanced, until now many Tasmanian dairymen own herds of the highest
standard. The work of improving the milking strains of cattle is in the
hands of the farmers themselves, but advice and assistance are always
obtainable from the Government Dairy Expert.


This is a highly profitable branch of dairy farming, and the product is
so small in bulk compared with its value that it is eminently portable.
Cheese-making can therefore be carried on under conditions where other
forms of production would be difficult. Some skill and knowledge are
required, but the Dairy Expert regularly gives lectures and
demonstrations on the subject in all the principal agricultural centres,
so that any intelligent person can easily obtain all the information he

The principal cheese factories in the State are situated at St. Mary's,
Pyengana, Emu Bay, Devonport, and Circular Head.

The cheese produced is very good in quality, and a considerable export
trade will soon be developed in it.


The production of hams and bacon is one of the collateral industries
connected with dairying, as the skim-milk and waste products form a very
valuable food for fattening pigs. Excellent bacon is produced in
Tasmania, and a good deal is exported, but not nearly what might be

[Illustration: Group of Prize Bulls.]

Dairy Factories.

It is the introduction of the dairy factory system that has solved the
problem of success or failure for the dairy farmer. These institutions
are becoming fairly numerous throughout the State, and are all equipped
with the most modern machinery and managed by expert men. The farmer
nearly always, nowadays, has his cream separator, and all he has to take
to the factory is the cream, which does not occupy much space, while the
skimmed milk remains on the farm for feeding pigs or calves. Some of the
dairy factories in the State are proprietary, but others are on the
co-operative system, under which the farmers are the owners, and share
in the general profits, as well as being paid for their cream.

McCARRON, BIRD & CO., Printers, 479 Collins Street, Melbourne.

[Footnote A: The personnel of the Commission was as follows:--Sir T.
Carlaw Martin, Edinburgh (Chairman); Sir John R. G. Sinclair, Bart.,
Barrock House, Wick (Vice Chairman); Dr. J. H. Wilson, F.R.S.E., St.
Andrew's University; Dr. Shirra Gibb Boon, Lauder; William Barber, M.A.,
Tererran, Moniaive; J. McHutchen Dobbie, Campend, Dalkeith; James
Dunlop, Kilmarnock; R. B. Greig, F.R.S.E., Cults; William Henderson,
Lawton, Coupar-Angus; James Keith, Pitmeddan, Udny; E. E. Morrison,
M.A., Bonnington, Siravithie; and Alex. M. Prain, Errol (Secretary).]

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