The adoption of short-rotation energy cropping as a new land use option in the New South Wales Central West

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Rural Society, 2011, 20 (3), pp. 266 - 279
Issue Date:
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Energy cropping based around woody native plants has attracted attention as a future land use option for rural Australia, with mallee eucalypts a particular focus. Potential benefits could include income for landholders, climate change mitigation and adaptation, enhanced energy security and revegetation of degraded or vulnerable land. However, the success or otherwise of this prospective industry ultimately depends on its adoption by rural landholders. Due to the unique position of woody energy cropping at the intersection of the agriculture, plantation forestry and energy sectors, its adoption is influenced by issues arising within each of these sectors, as well as by those emerging within this overlap zone. This paper explores landholder adoption issues relating to the production of blue mallee (Eucalyptus polybractea) for bioenergy around Condobolin in the NSW Central West. Critical factors identified for landholder adoption at Condobolin include the size and consistency of returns from energy cropping, impacts on land use flexibility and past experiences with climate variability, regulatory change and government support mechanisms. Copyright © eContent Management Pty Ltd.
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