Landholder stories

Practice change is a journey that farmers take over time, either guided by extension officers and other advisers or on their own. These case studies tell the landholder journey stories of those involved in water quality improvement projects funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

The Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan includes specific consideration of the human dimensions that influence practice change and deliver water quality outcomes. The target is that active engagement of communities and land managers in programs to improve water quality is increased by 2025.

Human dimensions are the social, economic, institutional, environmental and cultural factors and attitudes that motivate (or obstruct) land holders to make changes.

These case studies illustrate the active engagement of landholders in practice change to improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef and the human dimensions that influenced their journeys.

38 items

  • Burdekin Major Integrated Project – Landholders Driving Change

    The Landholders Driving Change Major Integrated Project used a range of tools and innovative approaches to empower communities which resulted in sediment reductions.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • Burdekin Nutrient Management Project (RP161)

    The Burdekin Nutrient Management Project has been working alongside local sugarcane growers to fine-tune their nitrogen rates in line with the industry standard, SIX EASY STEPS, while maintaining their productivity and profitability.

    Burdekin Sugar cane

  • Connecting Burdekin cane farmers to their local wetland

    The Connecting Burdekin cane farmer to their local wetland project worked with lower Burdekin sugarcane growers to improve the health of local lagoons while improving farm productivity and profitability.

    Burdekin Sugar cane

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Empowering and upskilling women in the Burdekin

    A training package for women in the Burdekin sugar industry focused on increasing their skills and knowledge of best management practice.

    Burdekin Sugar cane

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Holistic grazing property planning workshop

    The holistic grazing property planning workshop provided extension staff in the Burdekin region with the skills and tools needed to undertake holistic grazing property planning.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • DAF: Burdekin Grazing Best Management Practice and Extension Support

    The Grazing Best Management Practice project provided extension support to help graziers in the Burdekin catchment adopt improved practices.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Advancing Beef Leaders

    The Advancing Beef Leaders program works with emerging producer and community leaders in North Queensland to build their skills for leadership roles.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Burdekin growers delve deep into the science of soil

    An enthusiastic group of Burdekin sugarcane farmers with a shared interest in soil health and the benefits of cover crops completed a three-part soil health training course.

    Burdekin Sugar cane

  • Group of farmers walking through paddock DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Grazing peer-to-peer groups

    Grazing peer-to-peer groups in the Burdekin are building grazier awareness of management practices as well as graziers’ confidence and skills to trial new grazing practices.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • Forage Budgeting Project–Burdekin

    The Forage Budgeting Project provides forage budgeting training and support to graziers at the paddock-scale in the Upper Burdekin.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • Forage budgets

    Local graziers received training to provide forage budgeting and land condition assessment services to fellow graziers with the aim of determining stocking rates that help to achieve better outcomes for pasture and soil condition and water quality for the Great Barrier Reef.

    BurdekinFitzroy Grazing

  • Hort360

    The Hort360 program supports horticulture growers to identify risks, expenses and opportunities with the aim of improving farm management practices.

    BurdekinBurnett MaryCape YorkFitzroyMackay WhitsundayWet Tropics Horticulture

  • Project Catalyst

    Project Catalyst is a sugarcane grower led project with a vision of encouraging innovative management practices across the Wet Tropics, Mackay Whitsunday and Burdekin regions.

    BurdekinMackay WhitsundayWet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Project Pioneer

    Project Pioneer worked with grazing businesses in the Burdekin, Burnett, Fitzroy and Mary catchments to transition 300,000 hectares of grazing land to class ‘A’ land condition, stopping erosion through gullies and streambanks, and reducing the amount of fine sediment reaching the Reef.

    BurdekinBurnett MaryFitzroy Grazing

  • Reducing fine sediment by maintaining and restoring Burdekin stream banks and coastal wetlands project

    A collaboration led by NQ Dry Tropics with local government, community groups, industry groups, landholders and Traditional Owners, this project aimed to improve water quality through streambank repairs, improving local wetlands and agricultural practice change.

    Burdekin Grazing

  • Reef Trust Burdekin Reverse Tenders Pilot

    An innovative pilot Reef Trust reverse tenders project used a market-based approach to reducing fertiliser applications on Burdekin sugarcane farms resulting in dramatically less excess nitrogen entering the Great Barrier Reef.

    Burdekin Sugar cane

  • Reef Trust Grazing practice change project

    The Save our Soils project was established with a whole-of-enterprise focus in partnership with landholders to plan for change and identify training needs.

    BurdekinFitzroy Grazing

  • Better Beef for the Reef

    The Better Beef for the Reef project engaged graziers who had previously not participated in natural resource management programs and provided extension services to improve their grazing management practices.

    Burnett Mary Grazing

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Achieving better results together

    The Achieving better results together peer-to-peer learning program encouraged professional development and capacity building within the cropping and sugarcane industries.

    Burnett Mary Sugar cane

  • Farmers talking leaning on ute Isis 20:20 Nutrient Management Planning Project

    The Isis Nutrient Management Planning Project worked with sugarcane growers to develop intensive nutrient management plans to improve water quality outcomes.

    Burnett Mary Sugar cane

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Facilitated producer peer-to-peer groups

    Facilitated producer peer-to-peer groups have been established to improve coordination and collaboration among producers to build capacity to improve farm management.

    Cape YorkWet Tropics Grazing

  • Gully remediation at Spring Creek

    Cape York Natural Resource Management is partnering with landholders across the Normanby catchment to tackle gully erosion.

    Cape York Grazing

  • Grassroots project

    The Grassroots Project worked with grazing businesses to implement regenerative management on their properties while improving the profitability of farms and reducing soil and particulate nutrient losses into waterways.

    FitzroyMackay Whitsunday Grazing

  • Northern Grazing demonstration project

    Four grazing properties were used as demonstration sites to illustrate the importance of good grazing management to improve land condition health into the future.

    Fitzroy Grazing

  • Janes Creek

    The Janes Creek whole of system project worked collectively with sugarcane growers, graziers and harvesting contractors to improve management practices and evaluate and monitor local water quality improvements.

    Mackay Whitsunday Grazing

  • Pathways to water quality improvements in the Myrtle Creek sub-catchment

    Sugar Research Australia worked with sugarcane growers in the Myrtle Creek sub-catchment to identify and implement practice changes that reduced nitrogen and pesticide loss from sugarcane farms.

    Mackay Whitsunday Sugar cane

  • Sandy Creek: On-farm change for water quality improvement

    The Sandy Creek project was a grower-initiated effort to address the issue of unintended pesticide losses from sugarcane farms to improve local water quality.

    Mackay Whitsunday Sugar cane

  • Cane Changer

    Project Cane Changer draws on principles of human behaviour to increase grower uptake of best management farming practices through building a positive industry identity and capacity building.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Cane to Creek Russell Mulgrave Growers and the Nitrogen Story

    The Cane to Creek project used on-farm demonstrations, real-time water quality monitoring and analysis, one-on-one extension and group learning methods to increase uptake of best nutrient management practices to improve water quality.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Dung beetles on the Atherton Tablelands

    A peer-to-peer Beef and Dairy Productivity Network group on the Atherton Tablelands conducted citizen science research about the importance of dung beetles to promote pasture growth and reduce chemical run-off, soil erosion and fly populations.

    Wet Tropics Grazing

  • DAF Enhanced Extension Coordination: Young guns fired up for farming future

    A peer-to-peer group of Innisfail district young farmers came together to learn and increase their knowledge of farming practices and the impacts of agriculture on water quality.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Herbert Nutrient Management Project

    The Herbert Nutrient Management Project delivered tailored nutrient and farm management solutions for local sugarcane growers to reduce nitrogen run-off. It also helped growers better understand their soil test results, develop nutrient management plans and gain a first-hand understanding of nutrient loss pathways on their farm.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Insecticide reductions in Tully

    A proactive extension program in the Tully region involving industry and science has led to reduced use of insecticides and improved the health of local waterways.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Protecting our chemicals for the future through the accelerated adoption of best management practices

    The Protecting our Chemicals for the Future project worked with Wet Tropics sugarcane growers to increase their uptake of best management practices to reduce the presence of chemicals in local waterways.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Reef Alliance Nutrient Management Plan project

    Extension officers worked with nearly 300 sugarcane growers to provide customised whole-of-farm nutrient management plans.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef

    The Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef project set out to improve Reef water quality by working with more than 1,100 sugarcane, grazing, dairy, horticulture, bananas, grains and cropping landholders to improve practices.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane

  • Upper Johnstone Integrated Project

    The Upper Johnstone Integrated Project was a collaboration involving local government, industry groups, landholders and Traditional Owners to target creek and river erosion hotspots through community workshops and on-farm extension work.

    Wet Tropics Grazing

  • Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project

    The Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project used grassroots design with local landholders to reduce nutrients, sediment and pesticides ending up in local waterways.

    Wet Tropics Sugar cane