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Abstract

The following review is an financial assessment of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) conservation tillage and controlled traffic research project which was conducted in China (for the conservation tillage component) and Australia (for the controlled traffic component) during the period 1993–1996, inclusive. The project—No. 9209—was implemented by staff from the Beijing Agricultural and Engineering University and the Shanxi Agricultural Machinery Bureau (in China) and the University of Queensland (in Australia). The overall aim of the joint project was to develop and evaluate conservation and zone (controlled traffic) tillage techniques for sustainable dryland grain production in China and Australia. Australian dryland conservation cropping techniques and zero-till planting machinery were adapted for maize and wheat production systems in Shanxi Province in northern China, and controlled traffic techniques were tested at Gatton in Queensland. The outcomes from the trials were then successfully extended to Chinese and Australian farmers. The techniques developed in China increased yields, decreased costs and conserved soil and water on small plots of crop land. Controlled traffic farming in southern and central Queensland increased cropping intensity, conserved soil and water, and increased yields and returns. Chinese and Australian results and benefits are identified in the Review and used as the basis of the financial analysis.

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