It is recognised that there are several threatening processes which impact on the regions asset base that can be directly related to the management (both historical and current) of dryland agricultural land.
The Mallee region in Victoria is recognised nationally and internationally for its agricultural produce and is a key part of Victoria’s food bowl, with dryland cropping and grazing covering 2.4 million hectares (over 60%) of the region. Over the past 30 years enormous change has occurred in the way the land is managed in the Mallee, driven by a common will to minimise soil erosion. Cultivation has reduced, the area sown to crop has increased, stubbles are mostly retained and livestock grazing is better managed to minimise erosion. The area of land with poor ground cover and high erosion risk has diminished.
Despite these positive changes, a range of threatening processes including climate change, salinisation, wind erosion, fertility decline, soil structure decline and loss of biodiversity present significant challenges to the sustainability of farming practices in the region. To achieve greater agricultural sustainability, stakeholders within the region are continuing to develop, define and enhance strategic and practical measures and adopt a regionally coordinated approach towards sustainable agriculture that enhances, strengthens and builds relationships.
In supporting this coordinated approach, Mallee CMA objectives and associated programs are directly informed by the Mallee Dryland Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. Developed in partnership with key stakeholders, the Strategy details the strategic intent, priorities and roles of regional delivery partners; specifically aiming to: