The NT’s Douglas Daly region allocated for large-scale cotton, hay, hemp and more

The NT’s Douglas Daly region allocated for large-scale cotton, hay, hemp and more

The NT Farmers Association has actually unveiled a roadmap to expand farming in the Douglas Daly region by 60,000 hectares, which it says might assist “unlock the massive agricultural potential of the Territory”.

Key points:

  • Douglas Daly Stage 2 strategy has actually determined 60,000 ha appropriate for agricultural development
  • A report by NT Farmers recommends land would be finest matched to a mix of irrigated and dryland crops, consisting of cotton, peanuts, hay and hemp
  • Tipperary Station has actually gotten government approval to start cropping 14,000 ha in the region

Called Douglas Daly Phase Two, the ambitious strategy involves the production of up to 50 new homes on existing livestock stations, with land recognized as suitable for growing cotton, peanuts, sorghum, hay, rice and hemp.

The advancement would cost an approximated $1.6 billion, but according to NT Farmers’ Andrew Phillip, the proposal was driven by increasing need from the economic sector.

” Over the last number of years we’ve had more than 100 prospective financiers concern the Area looking at chances for a vast array of crops,” he stated.


” A great deal of them have actually invested a great deal of time looking for land to develop or purchase and there simply hasn’t been land readily available for those farmers to invest in.

” So what we have actually done is take a look at where those farmers wanted to grow, and the Douglas Daly, as it stands, is an excellent farming neighborhood.

NT Farmers president Simon Smith stated the upcoming NT election “presented an opportunity to reimagine the future of the NT”.

” We call on all parties to devote to releasing the land, and to offer the core infrastructure to enable its complete advancement,” he said.

What about the water?

The Douglas Daly region has to do with 200 kilometres south of Darwin and sits on top of the Olloo Dolostone aquifer, which has nearly been fully designated in terms of sustainable water yields for farming.

The NT Farmers’ report recommendations other prospective sources of water in the region, including what it calls “managed aquifer recharge chances”, which would include building weirs on the Lower King River and Stray Creek.

Workers planting trees in red soil.

Recently the Douglas Daly has actually ended up being house to vast plantations of Indian sandalwood and African mahogany trees.( ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald)

According to Mr Phillip nevertheless, the proposed Douglas Daly Phase 2 would rely mostly on the success of dryland cropping– particularly cotton.

About 1,000 hectares of cotton has been grown in the NT this year, 80 percent of which was “rain-fed”, indicating no irrigation was required.

The pastoral leases determined for Douglas Daly Phase Two consist of Douglas South, Jindare Station, Florina Station, and Claravale Station, which is currently up for sale.

Under the NT’s Pastoral Land Act, if the stations were to be farmed the land would either require to be rezoned, or non-pastoral use authorizations would need to be granted.

” We’re floating the idea that if the owners of the homes were interested [in development] then it must be up to them to at least have a path for how they could take a look at developing their residential or commercial properties,” Mr Phillip stated.

A paddock of dryland cotton with hills in the background.

Dryland cotton growing at Tipperary Station in the Douglas Daly.( ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald)

Tipperary Station authorized to crop 14,000 ha

In a different matter, Tipperary Station in the Douglas Daly area has received Federal government approval to start broadacre cropping across 14,000 ha.


It is one of the largest non-pastoral use permits to ever be issued in the Northern Area, with Tipperary Station waiting practically two years for the approval.

Station manager David Connolly said the business would broaden on its current program of growing fodder crops for its livestock such as corn and sorghum, as well as cotton.

” The outlook for cropping in these areas is very good, and I believe a lot more pastoralists will enter it,” he said.

Mr Connolly said the station would take a measured approach to advancement, “we’re not going to dive in and plant 14,000 hectares tomorrow, it will be slow and constant.”

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