National Irrigators’ Council chief executive officer, Steve Whan. says a ruling by the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs unit upholding a complaint about coverage of the Murray Darling Basin plan by ABC’s Background Briefing reinforces the need for balance in coverage.
The total amount of water stored in the Murray–Darling Basin’s dams has dropped below the 50 per cent mark, signalling the need for irrigators, industry operators and environmental water managers to continue their close watch on water availability as summer approaches.
Cotton planting is well underway in the eastern cropping belt where low water reserves and muted irrigation allocations will limit the potential crop to 2.2 million bales – fewer than half last season’s 4.6-million-bale crop.
The Darran Aggregation at St George is being sold by the Lindores family and offers the market an irrigation and large-scale dryland grazing and cropping operation with license to develop an 8000-head feedlot.
Cotton planting is beginning to gather pace throughout the eastern growing regions, but depleted water reserves are likely to see the area sown drop by half this season compared to last year.
As drought tightens its grip calls have been mounting for the 100,000 megalitres of wastewater that is released by treatment plants into Moreton Bay near Brisbane every year to be diverted to farmers further west. But is the idea economically feasible?
In a drought year when water for irrigation is especially sparse, calls have been growing for that treated water to be pumped and piped to irrigation areas in the Lockyer Valley and over the Great Dividing Range to the Darling Downs.
Six new dam sites in northern Australia have been identified with the potential to collectively open up 370,000 hectares of land for new agricultural cropping developments, and twice that area for aquaculture ponds.
Australian poultry-industry identity, David Bartter, has listed his 27,735-hectare irrigated and dryland aggregation north of Griffith, Ballandry Station, for sale by expressions of interest.
The Nunkeri, Loch Lomond and Combogolong aggregation at Coonamble and Wimbleton at Walgett are on the market, and will test values for cropping country on the northwest plains of New South Wales.
The Federal Government and Labor have struck an 11th-hour agreement that will ensure support for amendments to the Southern Basin water recovery targets proposed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.