Australian Bureau of Statistics
4619.0 - Land Management Practices in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments, Preliminary, 2008-09
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/12/2009 First Issue
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Burnett Mary NRM region
LAND USED MAINLY FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION, By Burnett Mary NRM region - 2008-09
Baffle Creek catchment
Baffle Creek catchment is located north west of Gladstone. Agricultural activity in the Baffle Creek catchment is dominated by beef cattle grazing. The catchment contains 316 holdings with 41% of land in the catchment used mainly for agricultural production.
Only 45% of holdings in this catchment reported applying herbicide. This was the lowest proportion of the 28 catchments in the Great Barrier Reef.
Holdings in Baffle Creek reported relatively low adoption rates of surface water run-off management practices. The most common practice, ensuring at least 40% ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season, was undertaken by 36% of holdings.
Those holdings keeping beef cattle reported relatively low adoption rates of riparian management practices.
Kolan River catchment
Kolan River catchment is located just to the north of Bundaberg and is the smallest catchment in the Burnett Mary NRM region. Beef cattle grazing is the most common agricultural activity with significant sugar cane growing and horticultural activity also present. Land in the catchment used mainly for agricultural production accounts for 63% of the catchment area.
Less than a third (31%) of holdings grazing cattle in this catchment estimated they had more than 40% ground cover at the end of the 2008 dry season. Only 30% of holdings actively controlled stock access to riparian areas and 10% had riparian areas fully fenced off and alternate water points established for their cattle.
Burnett River catchment
The Burnett River catchment is the largest catchment in the Burnett Mary NRM region. It covers an area of 3.3 million hectares with 2.5 million hectares of land used mainly for agricultural production. Bundaberg is the biggest town in the catchment and lies on the Burnett river just west of the river mouth. Beef cattle grazing is the most common agricultural activity in the catchment with broadacre cropping also significant. Sugar cane and horticulture activity are also present.
The most common practices adopted by land managers in this catchment to manage surface water run-off were using contour banks, diversion banks or constructed waterways (46%) and ensuring at least 40% ground cover remained on paddocks at the end of the 2008 dry season (39%).
Beef cattle grazing occurred on 2.4m hectares with 541,000 hectares of this on improved pastures.
Broadacre cropping was undertaken by 23% of the holdings in the catchment. For these holdings, stubble incorporated into the soil was undertaken on 27,218 hectares and stubble was grazed on 11,734 hectares. Full cultivation was the most common land preparation method used (on 24,662 hectares) while minimal zonal till was used on 20,220 hectares.
Burrum River catchment
The Burrum River catchment runs from Bundaberg in the north to Hervey Bay in the south. The catchment features a large amount of National Park and State Forest with land used for agricultural production accounting for only 28% of the catchment area. Beef cattle grazing, sugar cane and horticulture are the most common agricultural activities in the region.
Holdings in the Burrum River catchment applied the highest rate of fertiliser (0.8 tonnes per hectare of agricultural land) of all catchments in the Burnett Mary NRM. Just under half (49%) of the 77,095 tonnes of fertiliser applied was mill mud/ash (37,555 tonnes).
Mary River (Qld) catchment
The Mary River (Qld) catchment is located south of Hervey Bay. The Mary river is different to most major rivers entering the Great Barrier Reef in that it flows mainly in a northerly direction, rather than easterly, flowing through Gympie and Maryborough before entering the ocean west of Fraser Island. Beef cattle grazing was the most common agricultural activity with small amounts of sugar cane growing, broadacre cropping and horticulture also present. Land used mainly for agricultural production covers 38% of the catchment.
Holdings in this catchment reported relatively low adoption rates of surface water run-off management practices. However, holdings also reported relatively low rates of fertiliser use (0.08 tonnes per hectare of agricultural land).
For those holdings reporting beef cattle, 25% actively controlled stock access to riparian areas.
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This page last updated 18 January 2010