Balancing Land Use to Manage River Volume and Salinity: Economic and Hydrological Consequences for the Little River Catchment in Central West, New South Wales, Australia

Agricultural Systems, Vol. 103, pp. 161–170. DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2009.12.003

Posted: 24 Sep 2012 Last revised: 25 Sep 2012

See all articles by John Finlayson

John Finlayson

Charles Sturt University - Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Andrew Bathgate

Farming Systems Analysis Service

Thomas L. Nordblom

Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (Charles Sturt University & NSW DPI)

Bob Farquharson

Dept of Agric & Food Systems, U Melbourne

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

It has been widely suggested that changing land use from annual to perennial crops reduces land and stream degradation due to salinization. However, annual crops are financially attractive and increases in perennials can reduce stream flows with adverse effects on stream values. As such, salinity control is likely to involve tradeoffs between public and private costs and benefits. This study quantifies the expected on-farm economic and catchment-level water yield and salinity effects of altering land use among trees, perennial pastures and cereals. The structure of a two stage linear-programming (LP) process is described. The first stage is the MIDAS farm-level model of mixed cropping and sheep enterprises which provides inputs to a second stage catchment-level LP. It was concluded that perennial pastures can be used in conjunction with trees as a stream salinity-management tool in low to intermediate rainfall areas in New South Wales. The results indicate that land-use decisions should be informed by site-specific information if adverse effects on streams are to be avoided.

Keywords: bio-economic models, linear programming, model of an integrated dryland agricultural

Suggested Citation

Finlayson, John and Bathgate, Andrew and Nordblom, Thomas L. and Farquharson, Bob, Balancing Land Use to Manage River Volume and Salinity: Economic and Hydrological Consequences for the Little River Catchment in Central West, New South Wales, Australia (2010). Agricultural Systems, Vol. 103, pp. 161–170. DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2009.12.003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2151095

John Finlayson (Contact Author)

Charles Sturt University - Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation ( email )

EH Graham Centre (CSU+NSW DPI)
Pine Gully Road
Wagga Wagga, 2650
Australia

Andrew Bathgate

Farming Systems Analysis Service ( email )

8/, 41 Trebor Rd
Cuthbert, 6330
Australia

Thomas L. Nordblom

Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (Charles Sturt University & NSW DPI) ( email )

Albert Pugsley Place
Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650
Australia
+61419290428 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.csu.edu.au/research/grahamcentre/our-people/members2/tom-nordblom

Bob Farquharson

Dept of Agric & Food Systems, U Melbourne ( email )

142 Parkville Campus
Parkville, Victoria, 3010
Australia

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