Australian Bureau of Statistics
4619.0.55.001 - Land Management Practices in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments, Final, 2008-09
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2010 First Issue
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Fitzroy NRM region
LAND USE IN THE FITZROY NRM REGION
(a) Area of holdings inscope of the survey.
(b) Includes land set aside on the holding for conservation/protection purposes as well as other areas on agricultural holdings not used for agricultural production (houses and buildings, services and access areas, water bodies, mining leases where the lease area cannot be used for agriculture and any other agriculturally unproductive area or inaccessible areas).
(c) The urban areas are as defined by the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. In some cases urban areas cross catchment boundaries. Where this occurs the urban area is classified as being in the catchment where most of the urban area lies.
(d) Includes infrastructure (roads, bridges, service easements etc) and water features (dams, rivers etc) as well as any land not covered by the scope of the Land Management Practices Survey 2008-09.
Styx River catchment
The Styx River catchment is located about 150km north-west of Rockhampton and occupies 302,716 hectares of land. The Styx River flows into the Coral Sea adjacent to Rosewood Island. Land mainly used for agricultural production (53 holdings) covers 78% of the catchment with a minor portion of land consisting of state forest and reserves. It had 53 agricultural holdings, all grazing beef cattle with a small number also engaged in horticulture. Land set aside for conservation/protection purposes accounted for 8% or 19,974 hectares of agricultural land.
The most common water run-off management practices implemented in holdings keeping beef cattle included ensuring at least forty percent ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season (67%), and maintaining at least forty percent ground cover in riparian areas and/or constructed waterways (46%). Stock access to riparian areas was actively controlled in 26% of holdings keeping beef cattle.
Beef cattle destocking/stocking according to climate and pasture conditions was undertaken in 92% holdings keeping beef cattle, while 29% practised rotational or cell grazing. It was also reported that 89% of holdings managed predominantly pre-existing native pastures.
Shoalwater Creek catchment
The Shoalwater Creek catchment is located about 80km north of Rockhampton occupying 370,409 hectares of land. The Shoalwater Bay Military Area covers 285,300 hectares in this catchment as well as a significant part of the neighbouring Water Park Creek catchment. Land mainly used for agricultural production covers much of the rest of the catchment (46% of total land ). Beef cattle grazing accounts for all but a minor proportion of the agricultural activity undertaken by the 37 holdings in this catchment.
Chemicals were reportedly used by 62% of all holdings across the catchment, and mainly applied by targeted application methods (74%) including spot spraying, shielded spraying and bonding.
In this catchment 24% of holdings grazing beef cattle actively controlled stock access to riparian areas. A significant number of holdings (24%) reported no rivers or creeks on the holding. Rotational or cell grazing was utilised by 41% of beef cattle holdings. Grazing on improved pastures accounted for only 12% (20,249 hectares) of total grazing throughout the catchment.
Water Park Creek catchment
Water Park Creek catchment is a small (176,914 hectares) narrow coastal strip with Yeppoon being the major population centre. Water Park Creek flows south and eventually enters the Coral Sea just north of Yeppoon. Like the adjacent Shoalwater Creek catchment, it contains significant Defence Force land. A small amount (10%) of land in the catchment is mainly used for agricultural production (89 holdings) with horticulture (55 holdings) and beef cattle grazing (46 holdings) the two main agricultural activities.
Stock access to riparian areas was actively controlled by 22% of holdings keeping beef cattle. Farm layout was changed in order to meet industry best practice by 38% of all holdings.
Just over half (51%) of the holdings in the catchment kept beef cattle. The total area grazed in the catchment was 15,566 hectares with grazing on 5,193 hectares of improved pastures. Rotational or cell grazing was practised by 58% of the holdings with destocking/stocking occurring due to climate and pasture condition on 64% of holdings keeping beef cattle.
In this catchment, 37% of the holdings engaged in horticultural activity used alternate or cover crops and 33% used permanent traffic lanes. Fruits, berries or nuts were the most commonly grown crops, accounting for 822 hectares of horticultural activity. Holdings engaged in horticulture set aside 982 hectares for conservation/protection purposes.
Fitzroy River (Qld) catchment
The Fitzroy River catchment covers 14.3 million hectares and has the greatest area of the catchments discharging into the Great Barrier Reef. The Fitzroy River catchment's western boundary is the Carnarvon Ranges west of Emerald in central Queensland. The river discharges into the Pacific Ocean 40km east of Rockhampton, the largest urban centre in the catchment. Land mainly used for agricultural production (3,860) accounts for 77% of the catchment area. Beef cattle grazing is the main agricultural activity (3,721 holdings), with significant amounts of broadacre cropping also present (1,117 holdings). The Fitzroy River catchment is unique amongst the Great Barrier Reef catchments in that it has a significant frontage to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon as well as extending some 450 kilometres inland, as such, it features a very diverse range of agricultural activities.
In this catchment, 341,464 hectares of agricultural land was set aside for conservation/protection purposes, representing 2% of land across the entire catchment. Holdings primarily engaged in keeping beef cattle occupied nearly 11 million hectares of land throughout the catchment.
Just over half (52%) of the holdings in this catchment ensured at least forty percent ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season. The use of contour banks, diversion banks or constructed waterways (36% of all holdings), and the maintenance of at least forty percent ground cover in riparian areas (33%), were the other major surface water run-off management practices applied in this catchment.
In this catchment, 22% of the holdings grazing beef cattle reported actively controlling stock access to riparian areas and 13% of holdings ensured their riparian areas were fully fenced off from livestock and alternate water points established. Rotational or cell grazing was reported to be used by 39% of holdings keeping beef cattle with destocking/stocking according to climate and pasture condition (79%) being the most commonly used beef cattle management practice.
Chemicals were used by 82% of holdings engaged in broadacre cropping. Of these holdings, the most common application method was broadcasting or complete cover application (71%). Holdings growing broadacre crops also frequently utilised cultivation as an alternate control method for weeds, pests or diseases (75%) and contour banking and/or row planting direction to avoid off farm chemical loss (72%).
Minimal zonal till was used on 206,978 hectares, zero till on 163,153 hectares, and full cultivation on 77,478 hectares by holdings preparing land for broadacre crops and/or cotton. Leaving stubble intact on 245,989 hectares was the predominant practice employed in the management of crop residue or stubble.
Calliope River catchment
The Calliope River catchment is a small catchment (221,404 hectares) running inland from Gladstone to the Calliope Range. Land mainly used for agricultural production (162 holdings) accounts for 66% of the catchment area with state forest and reserves also occupying parts of the catchment particularly in the northern and western corners. The most common agricultural activity is beef cattle grazing (152 holdings) with a small amount of horticultural activity also present.
A total of 61% of holdings reported using chemicals. Of these, 22% reported using chemicals considered to be more environmentally friendly.
In this catchment, 9% of grazing was undertaken on improved pastures. Managing predominantly pre-existing pastures (58%) was the most common pasture management practice. For those holdings reporting beef cattle, rates of adoption of riparian management practices were similar to Fitzroy River catchment with 25% of holdings actively controlling stock access to riparian areas and 12% of holdings ensured that their riparian areas were fully fenced off from livestock and alternate water points established.
Boyne River catchment
The Boyne River catchment is located just south of Gladstone and occupies an area of 248,058 hectares. Awoonga Dam (Lake Awoonga) on the Boyne River is the major water supply for Gladstone. Land mainly used for agricultural production (127 holdings) accounts for 64% of the catchment area, with beef cattle grazing accounting for all but a minor proportion of this area. The Castle Tower National Park and state forests occupy a significant amount of land in the catchment.
Chemicals were used by 59% of holdings. Of these, 27% used chemicals considered to be more environmentally friendly. Stock access to riparian areas was actively controlled by 30% of all holdings in the catchment. The most common water run-off management practice in the catchment was ensuring at least forty percent ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season (60%).
Stocking rates were determined by cattle condition by 57% of holdings keeping beef cattle.
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This page last updated 30 April 2010