Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 073 March-April 2008 - North
MARCH -- APRIL 2008 GROUND COVER 25 Northern agriculture those forays. Early northern attempts at major agriculture cropping were poorly researched, used technology from different environments, and despite what were regarded as big investments, suffered from insufficient infrastructure, knowledge and resources. Should historical mistakes be considered a valid criteria for stopping future development? For example, from 20 years of research, CSIRO has developed a blueprint for profitable cotton production in northern environments. Varieties suited to northern day lengths and temperatures, and resistance to pests (especially Helicoverpa armigera) have been developed, as well as agronomy practices suitable for the region. More immediately, the main focus for many northern landholders is improving land management so that cattle numbers can be increased sustainably. Crops could assist this, as well as provide income diversity. A reliable northern grains industry also adds to Australia's overall reliability as a grain producer; a real issue in the face of climate uncertainty and lower rainfall in southern areas. In particular, crops such as sorghum and maize increase the flexibility of agriculture in the north. If seasons are favourable, these crops can be taken through to grain. If they dry off early and stored soil moisture runs out, they can be used for green chop, hay or silage, or grazed-off. Rainfall is mainly between late November and the end of March. In the lower northern rainfall areas (450 to 550mm per year) it may be feasible to crop in the 'wet season', especially on well-drained soils. In the upper northern region, maximum summer temperatures are similar to summer-cropping temperatures in north- west NSW and south-west Queensland. Winter temperatures are much warmer and could be conducive to summer crops. Further south (within the northern region), summer maximum temperatures tend to be two to three degrees higher than north-west NSW and south-west Queensland grain areas. However, Australian sorghum and maize breeders have sourced germplasm from hot overseas environments and are developing varieties with greater heat tolerance. More information: Robert Freebairn, 0428 752 149, email@example.com NORTHERN AUSTRALIA HAS LARGE AREAS OF OPEN TREELESS GRASSLANDS WITH GOOD-QUALITY SOIL AND AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL GREATER THAN 500 MILLIMETRES. Australian agriculture? PHOTOS: ROBERT FREEBAIRN Various products and services are provided by different entities of the Suncorp Group. The different entities in the Suncorp Group are not responsible or liable in respect of products or services provided by other entities in the Suncorp Group. Banking products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722. Equipment Finance products are issued by Suncorp Metway Advances Corporation Pty Ltd 89 100 845 127. In Queensland and South Australia general insurance products are issued by Suncorp Metway Insurance Ltd ABN 83 075 695 996. In all other States except Tasmania general insurance products are issued by GIO General Limited ABN 22 002 861 583. SSUNBB2919_GC Call 13 11 55 to contact your local Suncorp Agribusiness Specialist. We have local decision makers to help keep your business growing. Our local Agribusiness Managers have the ability to make decisions quickly, so you don't have to wait for an answer from head office. And with less red tape, you can get on with the business of growing your business. So, when it comes to flexible finance options including equipment finance, access to insurance, as well as currency and interest rate risk management, we'll keep you one step ahead.
Ground Cover 072 January-February 2008 - North
Ground Cover 074 May-June 2008 - North