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4625.0 - Farm Management and Climate, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/09/2008  First Issue
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NOTES


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents estimates from climate themed questions on the 2006-07 Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is the second survey conducted by the ABS dedicated to Natural Resource Management (NRM), but the first to ask questions with a climate theme.

The results provide an important perspective into the views of land managers on changes to the climate, the effect of these changes, and the adaptability of land managers to such changes. Results are reported at a national and state/territory level, as well as for NRM regions. Results are further reported at the national level for different industries within the agricultural sector, as well as by the length of time the respondent had managed the agricultural holding.

Many of the data items reported in this publication rely on the perceptions and views of the person completing the form. Whilst they provide a useful source of information, they may not reflect reality and can be different to data collected by other means such as physical measurement. Furthermore, perceptions can be influenced by the circumstances prevailing at the time of the survey. For example, in 2006-07 parts of Australia were hotter and drier than normal, and this could have influenced responses to questions asked in this survey.

The ABS welcomes feedback on this publication in terms of its relevance, usefulness, quality and the range of data presented. Please direct feedback to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


APPENDICES

The addition of climatic conditions, agricultural water use and agricultural production data has been provided to give readers a more complete overview of the agriculture industry over the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007.


INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


CHANGES TO CLIMATE

Australia

Nationally, 65.6% of agricultural businesses reported that they considered the climate affecting their holding has changed and 62.4% reported that the perceived change in climate had an impact on their holding. Approximately half (49.5%) of agricultural businesses reported a change in the management practices on their holding in response to perceived changes in climate.

The most commonly reported perceived change in climate affecting the holding was a change in rainfall patterns (92.1%), followed by more extreme weather events (74.2%) and warmer temperatures (49.6%).

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, by State - 2006-07

NSW(a)
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Aust.

Number

Total agricultural businesses
47 629
37 410
30 551
15 815
13 592
4 766
640
150 403

Percentage(b)

Consider climate affecting holding has changed
63.6
74.2
60.6
67.3
58.5
69.4
31.8
65.6
Impact of perceived changes to climate on holding
60.7
71.2
57.3
63.4
54.6
65.8
25.0
62.4
Have changed management practices
47.1
58.0
46.1
50.7
41.8
50.2
14.9
49.5

(a) Includes ACT.
(b) Percentage of total agricultural businesses.



State/territory

Agricultural businesses in the Northern Territory were less likely to report that they considered the climate on their holding had changed (31.8%), compared to a high of 74.2% in Victoria. Of agricultural businesses in the Northern Territory reporting a perceived change in climate on their holding, 78.9% reported changes in rainfall patterns and 32.8% more extreme weather events. More agricultural establishments in the Northern Territory reported warmer temperatures had affected their holding than in other states and territories (61.2%). Of the Western Australian agricultural businesses that reported a perceived change in the climate affecting their holdings, 50.2% reported more extreme weather events.


IMPACTS ON HOLDING

Australia

Of all agricultural businesses, 65.6% reported that they considered the climate affecting their holding had changed and 62.4% reported the perceived change in climate had an impact on their holding. The most commonly reported impact to the holding was a decreased level of production (88.8%), followed by an increased frequency or extent of pests, weeds or disease (55.5%). In contrast, a small number of agricultural businesses reported a decreased frequency or extent of pests, weeds or disease (19.5%) and an increased level of production (15.2%).


State/territory

Of the 65.6% of agricultural businesses that reported they considered the climate affecting their holding had changed, a decreased level of production was the most commonly reported impact in all states and territories, ranging from 90.3% in Victoria to 66.4% in the Northern Territory.

Queensland and New South Wales reported the largest increase in frequency or extent of pests, weeds or disease (58.5% and 58.0% respectively) on their holding as a result of a perceived change to climate, while the Northern Territory reported the lowest (45.8%).

Agricultural businesses in South Australia reported the largest decrease in the frequency or extent of pests, weeds or disease (22.9%) on their holding as a result of a perceived change to climate, while Tasmania reported the lowest (10.4%).

In Western Australia, 20.4% of agricultural businesses reported an increase in the level of production on their holding as a result of a perceived change to climate, compared to just 13.5% of agricultural businesses in South Australia.


CHANGES TO MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Australia

Of the 98,661 agricultural businesses reporting that they considered the climate affecting their holding has changed, 75.4% reported that they had changed their management practices as a result of this perceived change.

The most commonly reported changed management practice was changed intensity of cropping (69.3%), followed by changed watering/irrigation practices (32.7%) and changed rotation or fallow practices (31.9%).


State/territory

The state or territory with the highest reported change in management practice in response to the perceived change in climate affecting their holding was Victoria (58.0% of all agricultural businesses) and the lowest was the Northern Territory (14.9% of all agricultural businesses).

The management practice with the highest reported change, across all states and territories except the Northern Territory, was a change in the intensity of cropping and/or grazing. In the Northern Territory, changed watering/irrigation practices was the highest reported change in management practice (56.1%). A change in the time of planting and/or harvesting was most commonly reported in the Northern Territory (43.0%) and Western Australia (40.4%).


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