Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Developing a broadacre cropping sector in northern Queensland

Developing a broadacre cropping sector in northern Queensland
  • Reference # A.2.1819105
  • Timeframe 3 years
  • Project Status Current
  • Location Georgetown, QLD
  • Total project value $1,581,959.00
  • Project manager Ian Biggs
  • Research Programs 2. New and developing industries in Northern Australia
  • Broadacre cropping
  • Agriculture


This project will work with existing and new grain growers, and the agribusiness sector, within the Gulf River catchments to develop local cropping systems and agronomic skills.

Within the Gulf River catchments of north Queensland there is limited experience and knowledge around the performance and profitability of potential dryland and irrigated broadacre grain crops that could be grown. An understanding of the variability in this performance is critical in providing local landholders and potential investors with the knowledge and assessment of risk needed to develop appropriate grain cropping systems for the region.

This project will provide the opportunity for local landholders and agribusiness personnel to gain the necessary knowledge and skills needed for successful production of grain within existing extensive grazing enterprises within the region.

Expected outcomes

  • Enhanced knowledge around the performance of grain crops of interest within the farming systems within the Gulf Rivers region – this will include an understanding of crop choice, agronomic practices, yield potential, yield variability and profitability.
  • Improved agronomic skill amongst landholders and their staff undertaking cropping within the region – this will enable achievement of the yield potential identified for the most promising grain crops within the region
  • The potential improvement in GDP of grain cropping in this region is conservatively estimated to be around $10 to $50 million p.a. from irrigated cropping alone (based on gross margin of $1000/ha and cropping areas of 10,000 to 50,000 ha).
  • Diversification of the agricultural sector in this region will increase the number of jobs within the region (for irrigated production this could be in the order of 4 FTE per 1000 ha – around 40 to 200 jobs directly).


30 April 2021

Developing a broadacre cropping sector in north Queensland – webinar

Type: Webinar

Industry: Broadacre cropping

2 March 2021

Broadacre cropping in Northern Australia newsletter Vol #2

Type: Fact sheet

Industry: Broadacre cropping

23 November 2020

State of the North 2020

Type: Report

Industry: Aquaculture, Beef, Broadacre cropping, First Nations led business development, Forestry, Health service delivery, Horticulture, Rice, Strategic policy development, Supply chain development

6 May 2020

Broadacre cropping in Northern Queensland

Type: Webinar

Industry: Broadacre cropping