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4619.0.55.002 - Land Management Practices in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments, Experimental Estimates, 2008-09  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2010  First Issue
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Land for crops by area of cropping land.


Of the 17,104 holdings in the 28 GBR catchments there were 8,264 holdings reporting they had land that was mainly used for crops. This included land used for sugar cane, grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts, cotton, grapevines and nurseries. It also included holdings with land that was left fallow between crops.

The area of land used for crops was categorised into three size groupings; small (less than 50 hectares, 3,574 holdings), medium (50 to 150 hectares, 2,987 holdings) and large (greater than 150 hectares, 1,703 holdings).

The survey results show that holdings with different areas of cropping land did demonstrate a difference in the take up of a given land management practice . Generally, larger holdings were more likely to adopt a given land management practice than holdings in the other two size groupings.

When planting and applying chemicals, 59% of the large holdings avoided this activity in periods of high rainfall risk or irrigation schedule. Only 28% of the small holdings and 36% of medium sized holdings with cropping land avoided this activity. Proportionally, more of the larger holdings (39%) changed their farm layout to industry best practice to avoid "off farm" chemical loss than the small and medium sized holdings (20% and 36% respectively).

Over half (52%) of the large holdings used contour banks, diversion banks or constructed waterways to manage surface water run-off. Less than a third (30%) of the small holdings and 39% of the medium sized holdings undertook this practice.

Using mechanical cultivation as an alternate control method for controlling weeds, pests or diseases was a practice undertaken by 70% of the large holdings, 67% of the medium sized holdings and 42% of the small sized holdings. Proportionally more of the larger holdings (43%) rotated their chemical groups to avoid resistance than the medium and small holdings (29% and 26% respectively). Similarly, a higher proportion of the large holdings (37%) varied the selection of their crops or breeds as an alternate control method for controlling weeds, pests or diseases than the medium and small holdings (26% and 17% respectively).

Although relatively small in number, 3% (111) small holdings used National Standard for Organic and Bio-dynamic produce compared to 2% (63) of the medium sized holdings and 2% (34) of the large sized holdings.


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