Developing a broadacre cropping sector in northern Queensland

Broadacre Cropping
Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
3 years
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Ian Biggs


  • Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF)
  • The trustee for Fry Bloodline TM Trust


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).