Addressing the fundamentals of cropping-systems that deliver sustainable growth of agriculture sector in the Northern Territory

Broadacre Cropping
Strategic policy development
Water security
Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
4 years
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Ian Biggs
Northern Territory of Australia care of its agency the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
Grains Research and Development Corporation
Cotton Research and Development Corporation


  • Northern Territory of Australia care of its agency the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Northern Territory Government care of its agency the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security
  • Northern Territory Farmers Association Incorporated
  • Branair Pty Limited & The Trustee for Booloomani Unit Trust (Tipperary Station)


Improving productivity and profitability of the Northern Territory cropping system is crucial for sustainable growth of the Territory’s agriculture sector and topical research and development efforts and major infrastructure developments are supportive of establishing a self-sustained cotton industry in the Top End. 

However, knowledge gaps in crop establishment, agronomy, biosecurity, technical skills, and an in-depth understanding of the social aspects associated with barriers to growth of broadacre cropping in the Northern Territory need to be adequately addressed, if the sector is to fully realise its potential.

This project will combine cropping trials with efforts to  characterise and map  soil types and water holding capacity in the participating trial sites as well as new potential
cotton growing areas in the Northern Territory. Scenario planning will also be undertaken to better understand the economic and environmental impact of the project


Expected outcomes

Practice change, guided by the knowledge co-generated over the life of the project, will lead to sustainable social, environmental, and economical impact. Specific outcomes include: 

  • Growers confidently adopt crop establishment recommendations for reliable production
  • Growers will make informed decisions of crop rotation and cover crops for maximising their production and profit
  • Growers will make informed and conscious decision for nutrition application and selection of IPM for pest (insect and disease) management
  • Current growers and investors in the Northern Territory will have adequate information for selection of crops in new establishments
  • Growers will have a toolkit to make decision for investing in the industry with adequate risk management plan
  • Aboriginal land councils, Aboriginal development corporations and the Indigenous communities supported through access to information for informing of investing in broadacre cropping and/or capacity building and/or other information needs
  • Scientific and commercial community will access trusted information on trials conducted by the project
  • Northern Territory cotton industry will have access to tailored training material for use as reference.