Changing land use on unproductive soils in the North Eastern Agricultural Region

Changing land use on unproductive soils in the North Eastern Agricultural Region Report

  • Author(s): Mike Clarke, Andrew Blake
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: SEGRA - Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia

Abstract: Declining rainfall and increasing input costs have rendered 10% of soils in the NE wheat belt of WA, unprofitable for agriculture. The advent of a carbon price and the emerging opportunity of carbon farming have seen an increasing number of farms being bought and planted to trees. Local governments, worried about this trend, are amending planning policies to prevent good agricultural land from being converted to trees. This project is developing a blueprint which will allow farmers to subdivide their unproductive soils from the rest of the farm for sale to emerging markets such as carbon farming. This will enable the opportunities associated with a new industry to be integrated with the agricultural landscape without displacing it. State planning policies are currently geared towards preventing agricultural land from being subdivided. Farmers wanting to exit the industry are finding it hard to sell properties because of their large size. If the unproductive soils are sold from the rest of the property, the remaining smaller property is a more attractive business proposition. Neighbours who wish to expand can then do so with less risk and farmers who want to exit can do so quicker and with dignity. In addition, subdivision could provide nature conservation outcomes by selling remnant vegetation to other emerging markets, such as environmental offsets for mining companies. It is hoped a streamlined process can be developed for land subdivision and allow new industries such as tree farming to expand without impacting on productive cropping land, while providing biodiversity benefits for the region.

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Suggested Citation
Mike Clarke, Andrew Blake, 2012, Changing land use on unproductive soils in the North Eastern Agricultural Region, Report, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2839.

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