Cunderdin farmer donates hay to Yilgarn growers

Jo FulwoodCountryman

Growers in the eastern Wheatbelt who have suffered through a string of poor seasons were given a helping hand this month by a central Wheatbelt farmer.

While rain is needed for the crops, the situation in the east is also desperate in terms of stock feed.

Farmers are buying in feed, even at this late stage in the season, to keep stock alive while they wait for adequate feed to grow on their properties.

Cunderdin farmer Darren Beard has donated 210 rolls, or three truckloads of hay, to growers in the Shire of Yilgarn, easing their financial burden in regard to stock feed.

Mr Beard, who also owns and operates Beard's Transport, said he had heard of the plight of eastern Wheatbelt farmers and was keen to help out.

Initially, he said he thought he might take one load to the Shire, however, he soon realised there was a desperate need for more stock feed.

"Some of these guys haven't delivered grain into the CBH system for four years now," Mr Beard said.

"When I heard this, I realised that they needed more than one load of hay.

"They are not just doing it tough for one season, they've been doing it tough for three or four now."

Mr Beard said his 2011 hay crop had been weather-affected before he could bale it, and he had lost the ability to sell it on the export market.

"It's not top quality feed, but it's certainly filling a spot," he said.

"We had more than we could use, and after reading about the situation out east, I figured it was of better use to those guys out there than sitting in my shed.

"The growers were very grateful, and it was certainly a feel-good experience for me."

Shire of Yilgarn president Romolo Patroni said the situation north of Southern Cross was dire, with little green feed available.

"They've had limited rain since March, there has only been spasmodic showers since. Those who are trying to hang onto their stock are finding it difficult," he said.

"This feed will be worthwhile for them, at least until they are able to shear their sheep.

"I know these growers are very grateful for the donation."

They are not just doing it tough for one season, they've been doing it tough for three or four now Darren Beard

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