The North Central region is agriculturally diverse. Irrigation areas cover much of the northern Loddon and Campaspe riverine plains. Dairying, horticulture and mixed farming are the main enterprises. Improved irrigation technology and tradeable water entitlements have encouraged the rapid expansion of horticulture outside traditional irrigation areas.
Irrigated land areas accounts for only about 10 per cent of the North Central region's area, however it accounts for almost 50 per cent of the gross value of agricultural production. The grains and mixed cropping sector remains the largest agricultural sector.
Approximately 13 per cent of the region is public land. Large areas are reserved and managed for recreation and nature conservation. Commercial forestry operations are carried out on public land throughout the region. The most intensive operations are concentrated in foothill forests and softwood plantations in the south. A range of products, including firewood, posts and poles, furniture timbers, honey and Eucalyptus oil, are obtained from forests and woodlands in the north.
The goal for North Central Catchment Management Authority Land areas as outlined in the Regional Catchment Strategy is:
The use and management of the land resource for agriculture, rural living and other purposes will be consistent with its capability, will be undertaken in an ecologically sustainable manner and provide economic and social benefits.