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Management practices

By setting ambitious targets, Reef Plan aims to significantly improve land management practices and reduce pollution runoff to the Great Barrier Reef by 2013. Progress towards these output targets for grazing, horticulture and sugarcane up to June 2010 is shown below.

Land management practices have been improving over time. Progress since the 2008–2009 baseline is presented below. Progress for the grains industry is presented in the Fitzroy summary. Information for the cotton and dairy industries is not currently available.

Management practice systems

It is important to note that not all improved management practices result in a change in management practice system (rated from A to D for reporting purposes). This means that the number of landholders estimated to have improved management practices will typically be greater than the number estimated to have improved management systems. The status in terms of management practice systems for grazing, horticulture and sugarcane is shown.

The adoption of an improved management practice system for grazing is presented using the ABCD framework:

  • A—Practices likely to maintain land in very good condition or improve land in lesser condition
  • B—Practices likely to maintain land in good condition or improve land in lesser condition
  • C—Practices that may maintain land in fair condition or gradually improve land in poor condition
  • D—Practices likely to degrade land to poor condition.

The adoption of an improved management practice system for sugarcane and horticulture is presented using the ABCD framework:

  • A—Cutting-edge practices
  • B—Best practices
  • C—Common or code of practices
  • D—Practices considered unacceptable by industry or community standards.

The 2008–2009 baseline for management practice information in the First Report Card was based on limited data and, therefore, was of low confidence. As part of the Paddock to Reef program, new information has been collected through rigorous industry surveys, validated on ground. This has provided refined baseline data for 2008–2009 which is far more accurate and useful at the local scale. This Second Report Card uses the refined baseline and compares it against data collected in 2009–2010 using the same method.


Great Barrier Reef

Grazing

There are 8545 graziers managing 322,891 square kilometres of land across the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Target: 50% of landholders in the grazing sector will have adopted improved pasture and riparian management practices by 2013.

Result: Good progress

By June 2010, 11% of graziers had adopted improved land management practices. The greatest adoption of improved practices was in the Cape York region (23%).

Grazing practice systems

By June 2010, 59% of graziers were using (A or B) management practice systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

7% of graziers were using a high risk system, highly likely to degrade land to poor or very poor condition.

Major sources of adoption are outlined below.

  • Regional bodies, through the Reef Rescue program, facilitated management system improvements in 280 grazing businesses.
  • Training and targeted extension through the Queensland Government is estimated to have influenced management practice improvements in 197 grazing businesses. In addition, training provided by AgForward is estimated to have contributed to management practice improvements in 173 grazing businesses.
  • An estimated 487 graziers adopted improved practices through training directly relevant to Reef Plan objectives with the support of the Australian Government's FarmReady program.

Sugarcane

There are 3777 sugarcane growers managing 4032 square kilometres of land across the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Target: 80% of landholders in agricultural enterprises will have adopted improved soil, nutrient and/or chemical management practices by 2013.

Result: Good progress

By June 2010, 20% of sugarcane growers had adopted improved land management practices. The greatest adoption of improved practices was in the Burnett Mary region (25%).

Sugarcane practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 40% of sugarcane growers for nutrients, 23% for herbicides and 15% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) soil management systems were used by 12% of sugarcane growers.

Regional Natural Resource Management bodies, through the Reef Rescue program, directly facilitated management system improvements in 756 sugarcane growing businesses. Training and targeted extension funded by the Reef Rescue program and driven by Terrain Natural Resource Management, BSES Ltd and local agronomy service providers, in combination with the introduction of the Reef Protection Package, is estimated to have influenced nutrient management system improvements in 212 businesses in the Wet Tropics.

Horticulture

There are 970 horticulture producers managing 697 square kilometres of land across the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Target: 80% of landholders in agricultural enterprises will have adopted improved soil, nutrient and/or chemical management practices by 2013.

Result: Good progress

By June 2010, 18% of horticulture producers had adopted improved land management practices. The adoption rate varied across regions and ranged from moderate to very good.

Horticulture practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 50% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 77% for herbicides and 66% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Nutrient management was the area with the largest proportion of horticulture producers (52%) using C and D level systems.

All 174 horticulture producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by regional Natural Resource Management bodies and the Growcom Farm Management System program. Of these, 116 completed nutrient management projects, 34 completed herbicide management projects and 78 completed soil management projects.

Dairy

There are 306 dairy producers across the Great Barrier Reef catchment, with the majority in the Burnett Mary and Wet Tropics regions.

By June 2010, 26% of dairy producers (79) had adopted improved land management practices.

Drivers of management practice change during 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 included:

  • The Australian Government's Reef Rescue program, facilitated by Terrain Natural Resource Management, Burnett Mary Regional Group and the DBnBR program.
  • The Queensland Government's Rural Water Use Efficiency program, through the Dairy and Fodder Water for Profit program, assisted an additional 29 producers to implement improved irrigation and water recycling practices.

Cape York

Land management practices have been improving over time. Progress since the 2008–2009 baseline is presented below.

Grazing

By June 2010, 11 graziers (23%) had adopted improved land management practices.

Grazing practice systems

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

By June 2010, 16% of graziers were using (A or B) practice systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

All of these graziers were supported by the Reef Rescue program, facilitated by Cape York Sustainable Futures. Five graziers completed Savannah Plan training (through the Queensland Government) and eight graziers implemented fencing and watering improvements to help manage riparian and frontage country.

Horticulture

By June 2010, eight horticulture producers (27%) had adopted improved land management practices.

Horticulture practice systems

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 58% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 90% for herbicides and 74% for soil.

Nutrient management had the largest proportion of horticulture producers (42%) using C and D level systems.

All eight horticulture producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by Cape York Sustainable Futures and the Growcom Farm Management System program.


Wet Tropics

Land management practices have been improving over time. Progress since the 2008–2009 baseline is presented below.

Sugarcane

By June 2010, 24% of sugarcane growers had adopted improved land management practices.

Sugarcane practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 52% of sugarcane growers for nutrients, 14% for herbicides and 14% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) soil management systems were used by 15% of growers.

Of the 328 growers who implemented improved practices, 116 completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by Terrain Natural Resource Management. The remaining 212 growers are estimated to have progressed from D level nutrient management systems to C level nutrient management systems, through a combination of concerted Reef Rescue program extension efforts from a range of sources (Terrain Natural Resource Management, BSES Ltd and local agronomic services providers) and the introduction of the Queensland Government's Reef Protection Package.

Grazing

There are 935 graziers managing 6983 square kilometres of land in the Wet Tropics region.

By June 2010, 8% of graziers had adopted improved land management practices.

Grazing practice systems

By June 2010, 70% of graziers were using (A or B) practice systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

2% of graziers were using high risk (D) management systems, highly likely to degrade land to poor or very poor condition.

14 graziers who implemented improved practices completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by Terrain Natural Resource Management. The Reef Rescue program supported a further 39 graziers to complete relevant training through the Queensland Government and the remaining 19 graziers completed training in grazing management through private sector consultants with the support of the FarmReady program.

Horticulture

By June 2010, 14% of horticulture producers had adopted improved land management practices.

Horticulture practice systems

There are 330 horticulture producers managing 251 square kilometres of land in the Wet Tropics region. Bananas are the dominant sector, with 250 growers accounting for approximately 60% of this total area.

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 64% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 87% for herbicides and 60% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

All 45 horticulture producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by Terrain Natural Resource Management and the Growcom Farm Management System program. Of these, 32 completed nutrient management projects and 18 completed soil management projects.


Burdekin

Grazing

By June 2010, 13% of graziers had adopted improved land management practices.

Grazing practice systems

By June 2010, 56% of graziers were using (A or B) practice systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

2% of graziers were using high risk (D) systems, highly likely to degrade land to poor or very poor condition.

44 of the graziers who implemented improved practices completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics. The remaining 83 completed relevant training through AgForward, private sector consultants (supported by the FarmReady program) and the Queensland Government.

Sugarcane

There are 556 growers managing 829 square kilometres of land in the Burdekin region.

By June 2010, 14% of sugarcane growers (75) had adopted improved land management practices.

Sugarcane practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 17% of sugarcane growers for nutrients, 33% for herbicides and 2% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) soil management systems were used by 7% of growers.

The 75 growers implemented improved practices through completing Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics. Of these, 29 improved nutrient management, 25 improved pesticide management and 21 improved soil management.

Horticulture

By June 2010, 26% of horticulture producers had adopted improved land management practices.

Horticulture practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 52% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 79% for herbicides and 74% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

All 49 horticulture producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by NQ Dry Tropics and the Growcom Farm Management System program. Of these, 21 completed nutrient management projects, six completed herbicide management projects and 22 completed soil management projects.


Mackay Whitsunday

Land management practices have been improving over time. Progress since the 2008–2009 baseline is presented below.

Sugarcane

By June 2010, 17% of sugarcane growers had adopted improved land management practices.

Sugarcane practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 34% of sugarcane growers for nutrients, 28% for herbicides and 17% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) soil management systems were used by 8% of growers.

All 228 growers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants facilitated by Reef Catchments. A total of 113 growers completed nutrient management projects, 115 completed herbicide management projects and 202 completed soil management projects.

Grazing

By June 2010, 17% of graziers had adopted improved land management practices.

Grazing practice systems

By June 2010, 43% of graziers were using (A or B) practice systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

17% of graziers were using high risk (D) management systems, highly likely to degrade land to poor or very poor condition.

49 of the graziers who implemented improved practices completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by Reef Catchments. The other 23 completed relevant training through private sector consultants, supported by the FarmReady program.

Horticulture

By June 2010, 41% of horticulture producers had adopted improved land management practices.

Horticulture practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 23% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 61% for herbicides and 76% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) nutrient management systems were used by 30% of horticulture producers.

All 13 horticulture producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by Reef Catchments and the Growcom Farm Management System program. Of these, 5 completed nutrient management projects, 5 completed herbicide management projects and 9 completed soil management projects.


Fitzroy

Land management practices have been improving over time. Progress since the 2008–2009 baseline is presented below.

Grazing

There are 3666 graziers managing 126,880 square kilometres of land in the Fitzroy region.

By June 2010, 10% of graziers (379) had adopted improved land management practices.

Grazing practice systems

By June 2010, 51% of graziers were using (A or B) practices systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

9% of graziers were using high risk (D) systems, highly likely to degrade land to poor or very poor condition.

Of the 379 graziers who implemented improved practices, 80 completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by the Fitzroy Basin Association. A further 254 graziers completed relevant training through AgForward, private sector consultants (supported by the FarmReady program), and the Queensland Government (supported by the Caring for our Country and Reef Rescue programs). Approximately 45 graziers adopted improved management practices through participation in targeted extension projects implemented by the Queensland Government and the Fitzroy Basin Association.

Horticulture

There are 106 horticulture producers managing 58 square kilometres of land in the Fitzroy region.

By June 2010, 9% of horticulture producers (10) had adopted improved land management practices.

Horticulture practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 33% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 62% for herbicides and 64% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) nutrient management systems were used by 27% of horticulture producers.

All 10 producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by the Fitzroy Basin Association and the Growcom Farm Management System program. 7 completed nutrient management projects, 5 completed herbicide management projects and 5 completed soil management projects.

Grains

There are 600 grain growers managing 9146 square kilometres of land in the Fitzroy region.

By June 2010, 14% of grain growers had adopted improved land management practices.

Grains practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 88% of grains growers for nutrients, 79% for herbicides and 80% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable or common (C/D) soil management systems were used by 18% of growers.

All 78 growers implemented improved practices with the support of the Reef Rescue program. This included 60 growers who improved herbicide management practices through training and purchasing fit-for-purpose equipment.

An absence of data sources and systems to collect data on improved practice adoption outside of the Grains Best Management Program and Reef Rescue program means this is likely to be a very conservative estimate of improved practices.


Burnett Mary

Land management practices have been improving over time. Progress since the 2008–2009 baseline is presented below.

Grazing

There are 2495 graziers managing 28,618 square kilometres of land in the Burnett Mary region.

By June 2010, 10% of graziers (238) had adopted improved land management practices.

Grazing practice systems

By June 2010, 73% of graziers were using (A or B) practice systems that are likely to maintain land in good to very good condition or improve land in lesser condition.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

5% of graziers were using high risk (D) systems, highly likely to degrade land to poor or very poor condition.

Of the 238 graziers who implemented improved practices, 77 completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by the Burnett Catchment Care Association and the Burnett Mary Regional Group. A further 133 graziers completed relevant training through AgForward, private sector consultants (supported by the FarmReady program) and the Queensland Government. Another 28 graziers adopted improved management practices through participation in targeted extension projects implemented by Burnett Catchment Care Association and the Queensland Government (supported by the Caring for our Country and Reef Rescue programs).

Sugarcane

There are 498 growers managing 476 square kilometres of land in the Burnett Mary region.

By June 2010, 25% of sugarcane growers (126) had adopted improved land management practices.

Sugarcane practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 47% of sugarcane growers for nutrients, 21% for herbicides and 23% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) soil management systems were used by 22% of growers.

All 126 growers who implemented improved practices completed Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants projects facilitated by the Burnett Mary Regional Group. Of these, 71 improved nutrient management practices, 61 improved pesticide management practices and 59 improved soil management practices.

Horticulture

There are 280 horticulture producers managing 191 square kilometres of land in the Burnett Mary region.

By June 2010, 18% of horticulture producers (49) had adopted improved land management practices.

Horticulture practice systems

By June 2010, cutting-edge (A) or best management (B) practice systems were used by 41% of horticulture producers for nutrients, 69% for herbicides and 65% for soil.

Graph data (.csv, 1 KB)

Unacceptable (D) nutrient management systems were used by 25% of horticulture producers.

All 49 horticulture producers implemented improved practices with the support of Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, facilitated by the Burnett Mary Regional Group and the Growcom Farm Management System program. Of these, 43 completed nutrient management projects, 20 completed soil management projects and 17 completed herbicide management projects.


Last updated:
27 August, 2014
Last reviewed:
10 July, 2013

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