Study of the farming community, the Lockyer Valley, Queensland

Oo, Khin (1987). Study of the farming community, the Lockyer Valley, Queensland Honours Thesis, Department of Agriculture, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Oo, Khin
Thesis Title Study of the farming community, the Lockyer Valley, Queensland
School, Centre or Institute Department of Agriculture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1987-04
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 127
Language eng
Subjects 070101 Agricultural Land Management
070102 Agricultural Land Planning
0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Abstract/Summary This study was conducted in two shires of Laidley and Gatton in the Lockyer Valley in 1986. The research method used was a self-administered mail questionnaire sent to four hundred primary producers. The response rate received was 49.5 percent which is quite reasonable for a random sample of a non-specific interest group. The study area was divided into six zones based on the 198 respondents’ assessment of the enterprise from which they derived major income. The main approach of this project was a situational analysis o the Lockyer Valley. Central to this research was identification of the pressure and extent of problems relating to several aspects of land use, notably soil erosion, weed infestation; availability and quality of water and more general community-based problems. The characteristics of farm households, the role of family members in decision-making and tasks related to farm as well as home, were also included in this study. The Lockyer Valley is a major production area of vegetables as well as a mixed farming area. Natural pasture, which was extensively found in Zone 6, was largely used for cattle grazing. Generally, rural women were better educated than their husbands, and the ratio of educational level of husband and wife was higher than previous research findings. A large number of producers and their wives have taken off-farm work, and women tended to spend more time in off-farm employment. Only 6.1 percent of producers’ children had completed tertiary education and the majority of all sons were working on the farm. Partnership was found to be the major type of property ownership and inter-generational transfer of the property was the future plan. The producers who were from a non-farm upbringing and who had already taken up off-farm work intended to leave their properties at some time in the future. With the running of the farm business , 35 percent of rural women worked full-time in partnership with their husbands, and 42 percent worked part-time. However, 23 percent of rural women were homemakers and were not involved in running the farm business. The association between decision-making of husband and wife and situational factors such as ownership, involvement in farm tasks, record-keeping, education, on-farm upbringing and age were analysed. Joint involvement of wives in decision-making was to be related to ownership, farm tasks and record-keeping. However, husbands were more likely to take a major role in decision-making if they were more educated and had an on-farm upbringing. Age was found to be a factor affecting joint decision-making, although this result conflicted with findings of earlier research. The opinions of the farm community in identifying the problems of the specific small area in the Lockyer Valley were revealed. Lantana was the most severe weed problem in the whole catchment. The catchment area also had problems with wattle. The recommended control method of lantana was replacement by improved pasture, but it was adopted by few primary producers. Soil erosion in the form of gullies, bank erosion, sheet erosion, salinity and flooding were some of the problems perceived by the local community. Regular ‘slash and burn’ was practised by most of the producers. This is one of the causes of land degradation. Bore, creek and river, and dam were the main water sources for farm supply and irrigation. Only 60 percent of bored had adequate water supply and good water quality. Farm dam and creek/river sources were less reliable due to the inadequate availability of water. Consequently, operators at about half the cropped farms had to stop growing some vegetables which were previously commercially successful. Within the context of farm family needs, emphasis was placed on conservation of water, because of the erosion and water problems. The community’s opinion on community development activities emphasised the involvement of farm families. Finally, suggestions for the extension program which should be emphasised on rural development by means of community participation were included. The bases for further studies was also provided in this report.
Keyword Lockyer Valley
farming communities
Queensland
primary producers
farm management

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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Created: Thu, 05 Aug 2010, 09:57:46 EST by Belinda Weaver on behalf of School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences