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Farming systems in the Australian semi-arid tropics - A recent history

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Chapman, A.L., Sturtz, J.D., Cogle, A.L., Mollah, W.S. and Bateman, R.J. (1996) Farming systems in the Australian semi-arid tropics - A recent history. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 36 (8). pp. 915-928. ISSN 0816-1089


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/EA9960915


The recent history of dryland farming in the Australian semi-arid tropics is discussed briefly against the background of national and state policies, established following World War II, aimed at increasing the population and development of northern Australia. Some reference is also made to irrigation as a means of overcoming limitations imposed by rainfall and to complement dryland farming systems. The environmental and socio-economic constraints whch have so far limited commercial agriculture in the Australian semi-arid tropics are highlighted. Efforts, particularly in north-west Australia, to develop sustainable farming systems based on legume pasture leys and livestock production in conjunction with annual cropping, as a basis for closer settlement, are reviewed. These attempts, which began in the 1960s and stemmed from earlier post-war agricultural research in the region, initially relied on a pasture legume (Stylosanthes humilis cv. Townsville stylo) and conventional tillage. Farming system development continues today using new legume species (e.g. Stylosanthes hamata cv. Verano and Centrosema pascuorum cv. Cavalcade) and no-tillage cropping technology. This paper documents the history of agricultural and research development, and commercial practice in the Australian semi-arid tropics.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Live Archive:05 Apr 2024 01:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2024 01:45

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