Get involved in one of our industry-driven business development programs to farm smarter and more sustainably. Hundreds of farmers in CQ have already benefited from taking part.
To deliver best management practices programs for farmers, we work closely with industry partners AgForce, Growcom and Cotton Australia, and the extension network within the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries .
See how you measure up
Get up to speed with what research and leaders in your industry has determined is best practice, and self-evaluate how you’re performing in key business areas. You can work through self-assessment modules on your own or in a relaxed workshop setting with other farmers.
Develop a plan for improvement
Identify and prioritise changes and come away with a plan of attack to improve your business by increasing your productivity while caring for the land. If you want your farm to remain viable for generations to come this is a great chance take a whole-of-property approach to planning.
Access training and funding
Your action plan might identify training, machinery upgrades, or changes to farm layout and management practices that are eligible for funding from FBA. We have co-funded a wide range of projects that help grain growers, horticulturalists and cotton growers improve their business sooner. About 90% of farmers that join a program go on to receive grants for an on-ground project.
Help your industry share its success
Information about your business will always be kept confidential. However, the aggregated data from business development programs we support helps industry to benchmark performance, share its successes, and advocate for farmers.
Farming success stories
Extra Information about & for farmers
- Farmers in central Queensland are leading adopters of cutting-edge cropping techniques, embracing technology including satellite navigation to farm smarter.
- Around 480,000 ha of land in the Fitzroy Basin is used to grow grains, cotton, nuts, flowers, fruit and vegetables.
- The main crops grown on broad acre farms in CQ include wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, soybeans, chickpeas and mung beans.
- The 1st “official” bale of cotton produced under industry Best Management Practices (BMP) in Australia was produced right here in the Basin in 2001.
- A salad made from produce grown in CQ would most likely include capsicum, cucumber, lots of parsley and other herbs like coriander and basil.
- Central Queensland produces a significant amount of Australia’s supply of pineapples.
- Cotton crops in the Basin can expect to yield more than 1.5 tonnes of white cotton fibre per hectare – approximately twice the world average.
CTF makes economic sense and is better for the environment. Controlled traffic is way of farming that involves a combination of practices and technologies including:
- Use of technology to ‘control traffic’ by precisely guiding machinery around paddocks: By using GPS, satellite navigation and auto-steer in their farm vehicles, farmers can follow very precise tracks. Farm machinery is big and heavy. Continual pressure from machinery compacts the soil, meaning less rainfall can be absorbed. More precise movement across paddocks reduces soil compaction.
- Minimal tillage or disturbance of the soil: Traditionally cropping land is cultivated to prepare the soil for planting and control weeds. CTF allows greater control over herbicide application and is therefore compatible with zero tillage. This means crop stubble (base of the plant that is harvested) is maintained. Research has shown that even 30% stubble covering the ground can reduce soil loss by 90%. Topsoil is an asset to farmers in its own right, but less run-off of soil into streams also means a healthier river system.
More ground cover means increased yields
- Healthier soils and stubble cover allows means the soil can hold more moisture -which could increase crop yields by more than 10%.
- Greater retention of moisture in the soil means that more potential for opportunity cropping farmers which could allow farmers to crop an additional 10 – 40% of land each year.
Precise movement of farm machinery saves time and money
- CTF means farmers minimise movement across fields but they also reduce covering the same ground more than once, which means less time in the cab and less fuel.
- Fewer tractor hours and smaller horsepower demands of a CTF system usually results in less need for maintenance and repairs to farm machinery.
Controlled traffic farming is a sustainable system
Using CTF systems has significant benefits for productive landscapes and healthier waterways. Practices that retain crop stubble and reduce soil compaction mean rainfall is more effectively used to grow crops, meaning less run-off carrying soil and other contaminants into nearby creeks and rivers.
In addition, CTF allows more strategic and direct application of herbicides, which combined with greater ground cover means less wastage and run-off of chemicals.
Central Queensland is already a coal mining hub in Australia, but the rapid expansion of coal seam gas means that even more land in the region will be used for extractive industries, which inevitably impacts on land currently being used for cropping. Landscapes in central Queensland include some of the most productive soils for growing crops and should be protected for food and fibre production.
FBA advocated strongly for the protection of important agricultural land in the region from competing land uses. Our efforts combined with other concerned voices contributed to the drafting of Queensland Government legislation to provide security for strategic cropping land.