Sustainable agricultural practices are essential to feeding a growing and voracious global population.
Farmers throughout Australia clearly recognise the need for sustainable agriculture. In short, sustainable farms lead to a sustainable business that can be handed down through generations.
There is a strong argument for an industry-based environmental stewardship system that recognises sustainable agriculture practices.
While environmental groups, producer bodies and regional groups in Australia have filled the gap, an umbrella environmental stewardship program would be beneficial.
The industry is in the process of developing a stewardship management system for producers, to allow more effective management and reporting on sustainable agricultural practices.
This system will address five crucial areas: greenhouse gas and energy management; land use and management; soil and water; biodiversity; and feral animals and weeds.
Australian red meat producers actively undertake measures at each stage of production to increase their efficiency, cut greenhouse gas emissions and manage other environmental impacts to help preserve our natural resources.
The domestic red meat industry invests more than $7.5 million each year in research and development (R&D) to find ways to make constant improvements to its environmental performance.
This includes collaborating with other livestock industries and governments in R&D to find practical ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing productivity. Since 1990, emissions from red meat production have decreased by 6.5% per kilogram of product.
Through holistic management of their properties, Australian farmers nurture not only their livestock but the soil, trees, micro-organisms, native animals and vegetation that make up their production system. Not only is this important for sustainable farms but it is important for Australia’s quest to cut overall emissions.
A worldwide analysis of the effects of land management on soil carbon showed there is on average about 8% more soil carbon under well-managed pasture than under native forests.
While sustainable farming practices make good business sense, consumers are also increasingly seeking more information about the sustainability profile of their red meat.
The Australian red meat industry is actively engaged with the Sustainable Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Platform – a unique initiative set up in Europe five years ago by leading food companies with a conviction that a common food and agricultural industry platform can promote sustainable agriculture at a global level.
The SAI Platform is an independent association operating across the agriculture, food and fibre chain and aims to change practices to improve agriculture sustainability outcomes.
The Platform’s business approach is known as the -PPPs’ where three dimensions are considered – people, profit and the planet.
Australian agriculture is in a strong position to meet the growing global demand for food. As an agricultural nation with a strong focus on exports, Australia’s farmers are committed to sustainable agricultural systems.
To continue to harvest the long-term economic benefits of food production, Australia’s farmers need to continue to innovate and invest in sustainable agriculture.
Sustainable agricultural practices should be employed for all Australian farming. Learn more at redmeatgreenfacts.com.au
Tasmania is situated in the southern part of the Australian continent, considered a splendid getaway island that boasts of untouched wilderness, thousand-year-old trees, rugged coastlines, and rushing whitewater rivers. Tasmania is capable of producing high quality farm products. Its fertile soil, temperate climate and adequate water supply complemented by developed irrigation systems, all contribute to its progressive agricultural industry. In Tasmania, agriculture plays a major part in the economy as there are other industrial sectors that also rely in agriculture.
The government of Australia is oblivious to the fact that agriculture plays a key role in their economy and for this reason, the need to closely monitor and strengthen their irrigation systems in the face of calamities like drought and natural disasters is but imperative. One third of Tasmanias 68000 square kilometers land area is attributed to the agricultural industry which is why irrigation plays an integral part in its agricultural sector.
Statistics reveal that 14,000 gigaliters or 65% of the total water consumed are used for irrigation of agricultural land in Australia. It is alarming to note that this amount of water is not efficiently used the way it should be. Here lies the importance of an efficient irrigation system so that water can be conserved and utilized for the right purpose.
The sprinkler type or overhead irrigation is the one of the most commonly used irrigation systems in Tasmania. Water is sprayed over the crops by use of sprinklers or guns attached to an elevated structure. In a solid set sprinkler system, water is fed from a pump set and runs through a row of pipes or hard hoses. This kind of sprinkler is permanently installed at strategic locations of the farm area that need irrigation.
In a travelling irrigator system, the sprinkler is attached to a wheeled mechanism and has mobility to move across the farm area to perform its irrigation function. Another type of sprinkler irrigation system is the pivot irrigation device where pieces of pipes are connected to a framework of beams holding the pipes together. The sprinkler head moves in a circular motion and water is supplied into the pivot point at the center of the circle. Of all the sprinkler irrigation systems, the centre pivot irrigation is the most widely used by farmers in Tasmania.
A more traditional type of irrigator system is flood irrigation which is considerably the least expensive of all the irrigation systems. Here, water is allowed to flow on the crops directly to the farm bed. It does not require complicated machines to irrigate farms by this means. On the other hand, in furrow irrigation, shallow water canals are hollowed out between rows to catch the water that irrigate the crops.
The importance of an efficient irrigation system is crucial to the development of the agricultural industry in Tasmania. Since agriculture is highly reliant on abundant water supply, emphasis should be given on the proper irrigation agriculture practice by means of getting the appropriate irrigation equipment suitable to the needs of the agricultural lands in Tasmania.