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Primary Production Landscapes of Victoria - Southern Plains

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Farm Forestry farming systems | Grazing farming systems | Dariy farming systems | Cropping farming systems

Land use

Covering 51 local government areas and 6 catchment management authority regions, the major land use of the Southern Plains is production from dryland agriculture cropping, grazing and dairy) and forestry (77%). New blue gum forestry plantings are estimated to be 10,000 – 14,000 hectares per year. This has moderated since 8-10 years ago. Irrigated agriculture (8%) and intensive uses including horticulture and animal production (36% of Victoria’s land use) occur also. Rainfall varies from 450 mm west of Melbourne to 1100 mm at the foothills of the Southern Uplands.

Primary Production Landscapes

Victorian Volcanic Plains
Volcanic cones, lava flows and ash deposits are used mainly for grazing and cropping. Rainfall is higher and evaporation less than plains north of the divide.

Dundas & Merino Tablelands
The deeply dissected and weathered terrain has traditionally been used for grazing. Constraints to plant growth include soils with low pH and iron gravels that limit access to soil moisture.

Otway Plains
Rainfall within the plains is quite variable and the terrain diverse. Waterlogging is a major production constraint for prominent land uses including dairy and forestry.

Millicent Coast
Siliceous and calcareous plains and dunes are mainly used for dairy, forestry and fodder production. Soils and landforms continue into South Australia where viticulture also occurs.

Eastern Plains
Extensive alluvial systems from erosion of the Eastern Uplands generally receive higher rainfall and less evaporation than plains in the west. Grazing, forestry and dairy are main land uses on gradational and texture contrast soils.

Southern Plains - legend

Southern Plains - hay bales - Neerim

Southern Plains - raised beds Mt Leura
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