WA dairy industry impacted by bushfire disaster

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th January 2016

Major Western Australian dairy producer Harvey Fresh is hopeful it will be able to start receiving milk today after large bushfires impacted supplies.


Approximately 426 agricultural properties in the Yarloop, Harvey and Waroona areas are estimated to have been impacted by the fires, including nine dairy properties, according to the WA Department of Agriculture and Food.


The bushfire, which hit the South-West region of the state, forced many dairy farmers to abandon thousands of litres of milk on the ground unable to reach processing facilities.


Harvey Fresh has however advised Yahoo7 that it should be able to start receiving milk again today if employees can make it back to work.


The WA Department of Agriculture and Food has also said that it is currently working with agribusinesses affected by bush fires in the Waroona, Harvey and Yarloop regions including dairy farmers.


“DAFWA is working as a priority to assist impacted milk producers and processors with access for on-farm pick up of milk and milk disposal options, including access to approved controlled waste disposal sites as needed,” the Department said in a statement issued on its website.


The department’s website has provided information on situations where it is essential to dispose of milk on farms. The department’s staff, including veterinarians, have began carrying out livestock assessments of the effect on cows from the fire. An estimated 33,000 hectares of agricultural land has been affected by the fires in the region.