Ricardo revisited: Submarginal land and non-viable cattle enterprises in the northern territory gulf district

Holmes J.H. (1990) Ricardo revisited: Submarginal land and non-viable cattle enterprises in the northern territory gulf district. Journal of Rural Studies, 6 1: 45-65. doi:10.1016/0743-0167(90)90028-7


Author Holmes J.H.
Title Ricardo revisited: Submarginal land and non-viable cattle enterprises in the northern territory gulf district
Journal name Journal of Rural Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0743-0167
Publication date 1990-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/0743-0167(90)90028-7
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Start page 45
End page 65
Total pages 21
Subject 1107 Immunology
3305 Geography, Planning and Development
3303 Development
3312 Sociology and Political Science
Abstract Environmentally and locationally, the Northern Territory Gulf District contains land at and beyond the margin of profitability. Land values are at or below zero, and property values are determined primarily by the turn-off value of cattle together with modest, depreciated capital assets. Viability is threatened by the national disease eradication campaign, requiring improved herd control, achievable only by marked increases in fixed and operational costs. In these new circumstances, marginally viable properties are those with sufficient better-quality pastoral land, yielding an adequate return to the investment programmes needed to maintain a nucleus, managed herd. Non-viable properties contain insufficient land at or above the margin for capital investment. Currently the operational viability of these enterprises is founded upon asset fixity, zero opportunity costs, the regenerative capabilities of the cattle 'herd' and psychic income to operators. The campaign presents these operators with two choices, both untenable: either engage in uneconomic capital investment or else eliminate their one real asset, the cattle. Unless radically modified, the campaign will eradicate the submarginal cattlemen as well as bovine tuberculosis. Land marginality can be assessed by a programme of land classification, evaluation of pastoral capabilities and determination of costs and returns under various pastoral regimes. These data can then be used as basic input in assessing the economic viability of individual properties under various assumptions, including: criterion for viability; quality of management; and degree of dependence upon a controlled herd. This comprehensive programme of appraisal is being used as a basic document, not only in determining overall strategy and local tactics in the disease control programme, but also in assessing alternative land use scenarios for a major sector of Australia's most marginal northern lands.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
 
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