Ag Around the World, Holly Spangler's 30 Day Blog Challenge

The Evolution of Australian Agriculture

Being the only continent on the globe that doubles as its own country as well, Australia differs from many of the systems across the world in many ways. For instance, their agricultural sector in particular sets itself apart in many ways. Generally, throughout the majority of Australia’s history, the country’s economy was seen to be extremely dependent on sheep production. Agriculture, especially the wool industry, established Australia’s relevance as a thriving economy across the globe. Since the mid 1900’s Australia has become one of the leading exporters of fine foods, grains, and meats.

Methods have changed drastically for the country’s agriculture over the last 200 years. To begin with, the challenges that fresh water access, fertilizer amounts, overgrazing, and transportation costs have forced farmers to innovate new and effective ways to get their jobs done. Things like the implementation of irrigation, increased soil fertilizers, and fencing improvements have all assisted in the evolution of Australian agriculture.

As far as crops go, Australia is known for their production of sugarcane, fruits and nuts. To reach these heights, famers first had to overcome the poor soil fertility the continent was known for. With some assistance from the introduction of super phosphate and nitrogen, the problem was minimized. However, down the road this has began causing issues such as soil erosion and salinity. 

Approximately 2/3 of Australian lands are used towards agriculture and of that amount around 90% of the land is designated for cattle and sheep grazing. This type of livestock production is known as pastoralism and it has been a dominant element throughout the history of Australian Outback agriculture.

Additionally, rabbits have been constant pests that have outlasted the test of time on the continent. They have caused significant reduction to the amount of production and have forced farmers to come up with new methods to prevent their destruction to their crops.

Resources:

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/crops

http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/295108/agriculture+land+law/2013+food+and+agriculture+in+numbers

http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-farming-and-agriculture

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pastoralism

Image Sources:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b9/Murray_Grey_cows_and_calves.JPG

http://econews.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/farming-investment-Australia.jpg

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