Thursday, November 21, 2002. Posted: 21:23:27 (AEDT)


Drought's impact on dairy industry raises concerns

The state and federal governments are being warned the drought could wipe out the valuable dairy industry in parts of NSW.

The chairman of the NSW Farmers Association's dairy committee, Max Roberts, is calling for exceptional circumstances criteria to be loosened and assistance for grain and hay purchases.

Mr Roberts says even in the state's most reliable dairying areas, farms are out of water and dairy cows are being sold for slaughter - meaning generations of selective breeding could be lost forever.

"If they start culling from here on in they're really chipping hard into the core livestock of the dairy industry," he said.

"We've got to make people in government realise that what we're talking about is not getting subsidy, but getting investment back in our industry to make sure that business, the dairy, is still operating at the end of the drought."