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4627.0 - Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/06/2011   
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MEDIA RELEASE
21 June 2011
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
77/2011

Farm snapshot: average farmer 55 year old grazier

The average Australian farmer is aged 55, owns a business (and has managed it for 23 years) and the main activity is grazing, according to Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no 4627.0) released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The publication provides a snapshot of our farmers and a variety of farm management practices including cropping and pasture management, fertiliser use and natural environment conservation protection.

Key findings in the publication include:
  • In 2009-10, approximately 52% of Australia’s total land area was managed by agricultural businesses.
  • In 2009-10, approximately 60,000 agricultural businesses prepared land for crops or horticulture covering 25.1 million hectares.
  • Grazing land accounted for 88% of land managed by agricultural businesses. Almost half (48%) of all agricultural businesses in Australia were engaged in cropping activities and 17% were engaged in horticulture.
  • Of those businesses that have natural environments on their property, over half protected these areas for conservation purposes.
  • The main crop residue management practice was to leave stubble intact (48% of all agricultural businesses), ploughing crop residue into the soil (34%) and removal of crop residue by baling or heavy grazing (23%).
  • A large proportion (61%) of agricultural businesses in Australia applied fertiliser to their holding in 2009-10. The average application rates for manufactured fertilisers ranged between 0.08 and 0.21 tonnes per hectare. The application rate for animal manure was 2.73 tonnes per hectare down from 3.19 tonnes per hectare in 2007-08.
More information can be found in Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2009-10 (cat. no 4627.0)

Media notes:
  • The Agricultural Census will be run in 2011. The information collected from the farming community via the census will play a vital role in supporting the development and monitoring of Australia's agricultural, natural resource and water policies. Find out more
  • Please ensure when reporting ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.

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