Evolution of conservation agriculture in winter rainfall areas

John Kirkegaard, Harm van Rees

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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Abstract

The southern Australian broad-acre agricultural region lies south of latitude 32oS with mainly winter rainfall in the south and west, grading to equi-seasonal in the northeast region extending into central NSW (Figure 1). The major point of contrast with systems to the north (Chapter 5) is that summers in the south are generally too dry and hot for reliable production of dryland summer crops, and most farms,though a diminishing number, retain livestock enterprises. As a result, the systems comprise annual winter crops either continuous, or phased with annual or perennial pastures (2-5 years) grazed by livestock. The soils in the vast majority of the zone are either naturally deficient or depleted in the major crop nutrients (P and N) (Isbell 2002), and average annual rainfall is generally low (<550 mm) and extremely variable by world standards. As a consequence, extensive agricultural production involves significant attention to the management of business risk, due to the probabilistic nature of the outcomes of most important management decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian agriculture in 2020
Subtitle of host publicationFrom conservation to automation
EditorsJim Pratley, John Kirkegaard
Place of PublicationWagga Wagga, Australia
PublisherAustralian Society for Agronomy
Chapter4
Pages47-64
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780648581901
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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