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Mackay Whitsunday NRM region
LAND USED MAINLY FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, By Mackay Whitsunday NRM region - 2008-09
Proserpine River catchment
The Proserpine River catchment is located between Bowen and Mackay. Sugar cane production and beef cattle grazing are the main agricultural activities. Land used mainly for agricultural production covers 57% of the catchment.
At least 78% of the holdings in this catchment reported undertaking at least one land management practice to mitigate surface water run-off. Rubble spoon drains were used by 39% of holdings while recycling pits or sediment dams were used by 38% of the holdings. Maintaining at least 40% ground cover in riparian areas and/or constructed waterways (32%) and furrow management (30%), were other common practices.
Significant amounts of fertiliser were used in all catchments in the Mackay Whitsunday NRM region, with 64,426 tonnes of fertiliser applied in this catchment, including 42,843 tonnes of mill mud/ash.
Of holdings reporting beef cattle, one quarter reported actively controlling their stock access to riparian areas.
O'Connell River catchment
The O'Connell River catchment is located just north of Mackay. Sugar cane and beef cattle grazing are the main agricultural activities. Land used mainly for agricultural production covers 56% of the catchment.
Just under 80% of the holdings in this catchment reported undertaking a surface water run-off management practice. Ensuring at least 40% ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season was the most common practice, undertaken by 44% of the holdings. Only 12% of the holdings used furrow management to mitigate surface water run-off. Holdings in other catchments in the Mackay Whitsunday NRM region reported usage rates of between 23% and 30% for this practice.
Holdings in this catchment reported using 46,892 tonnes of dunder and 43,899 tonnes of mill mud/ash.
Pioneer River catchment
The Pioneer River catchment is a small catchment located west of Mackay. National Parks and State Forests cover much of the steep western edge of the catchment, with sugar cane growing the main agricultural activity on the flatter plains. Beef cattle grazing is the most common agricultural activity. Just under half of the area of the catchment (48%) is land used mainly for agricultural production.
Holdings in this catchment reported applying significant amounts of fertiliser, particularly mill mud/ash (88,214 tonnes) and dunder (43,210 tonnes). The rate of fertiliser applied (1.8 tonnes per hectare of agricultural land) was one of the highest in the 28 catchments.
Plane Creek catchment
The Plane Creek catchment runs south from Mackay, occupying a narrow coastal plain. Sugar cane growing and beef cattle grazing were the main agricultural activities. Land used mainly for agricultural production covers 59% of the catchment.
More fertiliser (202,453 tonnes), at an application rate of 1.4 tonnes per hectare of agricultural land, was used in Plane Creek than in any of the 28 catchments in the Great Barrier Reef. With four sugar mills in close proximity, dunder (98,736 tonnes) and mill mud/ash (90,241 tonnes) were the main fertilisers applied.
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