This is a common sight as you drive through the valleys, gentle Brahman cattle roaming lush farmland bordered by densely-rainforested hillsides.
The following article was written by Ian Osborne and Laurie Taylor, both born-and-bred Daintree cattle farmers and appears on the Daintree Village Tourism Association website at http://www.daintreevillage.asn.au/.
Sustainable Tropical Beef Grazing plays an important role in the economy of Daintree. It is the industry that has withstood time, whilst other have, for many reasons failed.
Lush Daintree River flats produce young heavy weight steers off improved pasture and are well sought after by both export and local abbatoirs. Over the years many show ribbons and carcass competitions have been won.
Cattle grazing on river flats, which need little or no fertilizer because of the sediments deposited during yearly flooding from the upstream large World Heritage Area, are sustainably grazed on the hillsides of the valley in the wet season to maintain the viability of each cattle property. Graziers stress it is important to manage and maintain these hillsides with grasses that provide good ground cover to prevent erosion as well as good quality feed. Hillsides are burnt before the storm season in 2-3 yearly cycles to maintain the quality of the improved pasture.
Most cattle properties in the Daintree Catchment also retain large areas of tropical rainforest that has been sustainably logged over the last 100 years.