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TAS Country : April 21st 2011
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 22, 2011 News KEEN: Woodbury grazier Tom Burbury at his property, Glen Morey. Picture: RAOUL KOCHANOWSKI The road to If the view from the Midland Highway is the barometer of the state of Tasmanian agriculture, the landscape will change in the years ahead, writes Bruce Montgomery* MIDLANDS farmers have been among the hardest hit in Tasmania when drought strikes. Because of the proximity of their land to the Midland Highway, their plight during drought has been highly visible. The view from the car window is the average person's gauge of the state of Tasmanian agriculture. Though their dams are overflowing today and their land fully stocked, they have not lost sight of the next drought around the corner. The forward thinkers are putting their money where their mouth is. They are seeking water allocations from the Midlands Water Scheme that the Federal Government has just approved. Farmers only have until May 5 to apply for a water allocation. Then it will be opened up to investors. Using water piped from Arthurs Lake, the scheme will deliver up to 38,500 megalitres to an irrigable area of 55,684ha stretching from Campbell Town to Kempton, replicating the transformation that has occurred in the Coal River Valley. Five Midlands farmers this week declared their hands. Tom Burbury farms Glen Morey (1380ha) at Woodbury, where he runs about 6000 Corrie- dale sheep and has 120ha of poppies, 120ha of barley, 50ha of wheat and 10ha of carrot seed. ''We irrigate about 100ha of land per season, but 80 per cent of Glen Morey has the potential to be irrigated,'' he said. Mr Burbury has a 55ha centre-pivot irri- gator and owns a 250ML water right in the Blackman Dam, but has averaged less than 25 per cent of his allocation over the past five
April 14th 2011
April 28th 2011