Deer farming - vital for the survival of the Arrow River irrigation scheme
The Arrow River Irrigation Scheme has been in operation since the early 1930s. Farming systems within the scheme have been predominantly sheep with limited cereal cropping. Irrigation has been used mainly to ensure that sufficient hay is made to feed through the long cool winters. The future of the irrigation scheme is in doubt because of high upgrading costs and a large operating deficit that has accumulated. Water charges have been low for many years. Farmers started diversifying into deer in the early 1990s and a steady expansion has since occurred. Incorporating deer into the farming operation has had a significant impact upon the profitability of the diversified farms. The increased profitability of the diversified farms means that they would be able to meet the higher water charges that would be levied under the Public Works Act. The use of water by farmers has been, and still is, inefficient. For instance, some have deer on dryland despite the availability of irrigated pasture. It is contended that farmers must allocate water to the most profitable use if they are to maximise returns and if irrigation schemes are to remain viable financial operations.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research070101 Agricultural Land Management
TypeConference Contribution - published (Conference Paper)
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