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|Title:||Cotton and Cattle - The Future|
|Publisher:||Australian Cotton Growers Research Association|
|Abstract:||The nature of agricultural production has changed dramatically over the past decade, with more changes in the pipeline. Where producers once chose between grassfed livestock or cereal crops, or a combination of both, as their primary income source, they are now faced with a plethora of enterprise choices as a means of supporting their businesses and families. Traditional practices have given way to innovative and lateral activities that enable producers to spread their financial risk across a multitude of enterprises. While this has been an exciting development worthy of strong community support, it often brings with it new problems. Countering the upside of better land utilisation and financial risk management are 'boundary' issues, particularly those that negatively impinge from one production system to another either on the same property or within a region. Agricultural-chemical 'trespass' is the starkest example of this, with the cattle/cotton production interface the most publicised. Until two or three years ago, individual agricultural sectors were quite satisfied to develop their own quality assurance (QA) programs to maximise quality and safety attributes for customers. While a number of these programs were extended to include environmental and/or animal welfare matters, little effort was made to ensure 'seamlessness' across enterprises, even though multiple-enterprise properties were becoming an increasingly common feature of the agricultural scenery. Fortunately this is changing, albeit slowly. Resulting from rumblings in the bush, the cattle, sheepmeat, grain and wool industries, for example, are now sharing common 'modules' across their QA schemes. These cover 'management' and 'chemical use/storage'. The beef-cattle/cotton industry interface is in desperate need of similar co-operation.|
|Appears in Collections:||2000 Australian Cotton Conference|
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