Benchmarking Rural Industries' Practices and Productivity Performance and Review of Industries' Capacity to Change
The horticulture industry's Semi-arid tropical/subtropical plains production region includes the following growing areas: South-west, Qld.
In this region, horticulture is produced on 266 hectares of land.
Horticulture production in this region in 1998 included:
- 5,678 tonnes of horticultural product comprising 5,243 tonnes of annual crops and 435 tonnes of perennial crops;
- an average of 6.4 tonnes of horticulture product/hectare; and
- $4 million dollars worth of horticultural product, 75% from annual crops and 25% from perennial crops.
What land and water resources are invested in horticulture production in the Semi-arid Tropical Subtropical Plains?
This region is predominantly (approximately 70%) grassland that is persistently dry or suffers from winter drought. Other climate types in this region include desert and subtropical. Average annual rainfall in this region varies from 200 mm in the inland areas, to more than 400 in the areas toward the coast. Average annual temperatures in this region range from a minimum of 9?C and a maximum of 24?C east of Charleville, to a minimum of 18?C and a maximum of 33?C in the north.
In this region, horticulture product is grown on 266 hectares of land. This production is comprised of 198 hectares of annual and 68 hectares of perennial. There are approximately 130 hectares of irrigated vegetable crops (annual) and 24 hectares of irrigated fruit crops (perennial) in this region.What environmental challenges face the horticulture industry in the Semi-arid Tropical Subtropical Plains?
The HRDC Report surveyed state agencies and selected key stakeholder/ industry representatives. This survey was intended to provide an indication of regional and industry environmental issues. The HRDC Report did not receive responses on the allocation of environmental challenges in this region. However, on the basis of the configuration of horticultural land use within the region, it is expected that the priority environmental challenges will relate to:
- soil condition;
- water quality;
- waste management;
- pest management;and
- vegetation protection.
The relative weighting of these will be determined by local landscape features.
How is the horticulture industry meeting these environmental challenges in the Semi-arid Tropical Subtropical Plains and across Australia?
The horticultural industry is responding to environmental challenges through a number of mechanisms, including:
- Industry strategic planning;
- Adoption of management practice;
- Development and implementation of Codes of Practice;
- Research and development; and
- Interaction with State government groups.
How do these environmental factors and responses affect the future prospects of the industry in the Semi-arid Tropical Subtropical Plains region?
Each of the horticultural AER regions need to respond to identified environmental issues in a coordinated manner. This approach involves the following steps:
- Establish a database that is consistent with industry and national production/ environmental reporting procedures
- Participate in the development of catchment level plans within the region
- Develop a set of regionally relevant management practices that are consistent with industry Codes and guidelines
- Initiate a regional action planning process to ensure acceptance and adoption of proposed practices
- Establish a set of environmental indicators to monitor environmental performance
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Link to data available for download on "A spatially consistent sub-set of agricultural statistics (AgStats) data 1982/93 to 1996/97"
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