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4627.0 - Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2009  First Issue
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MEDIA RELEASE

May 29, 2009
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
31/2009

Time of change in land management practices for Australian agricultural businesses: ABS

Almost two thirds of all agriculture businesses made changes to their land management practices over the past 5 years, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The report on Land Management and Farming in Australia in 2007-08 found that 75,000 farmers prepared land for crops or pastures, with 40,000 (53%) using zero-tilling methods.
A total of 17.5 million hectares was prepared using zero-till methods, 6.3 million in Western Australia. One or two cultivation passes was used on 8.1 million hectares.

The results of the survey also found:

Approximately half of all businesses with native vegetation, wetlands, or rivers and creeks reported activities to protect these areas for conservation purposes.

The majority of graziers (69%) reported monitoring ground cover levels in their paddocks, with over half of these, having set a minimum target.

The highest average targets (above 80%) were reported in southern and eastern Natural Resource Management regions.

Fertiliser was used by 62% of farms, ranging from 79% in Western Australia to 44% in Queensland. Total fertiliser used was 6.6 million tonnes, including 4.3 million tonnes of chemical fertilisers, and 2.3 million tonnes of animal manure. Animal manure was used by 12% of farmers, on 718 thousand hectares.

Soil acidity required management by 17% of farmers, and most of these used lime or dolomite to treat their land. Less than 6% planted acid tolerant crops or pastures as a means of managing for soil acidity, although this was 12% in New South Wales.

The survey provides benchmark data for the Australian Government's 'Caring for our Country' program. Further details are in Land Management and Farming in Australia 2007–08
(cat. no. 4627.0).

Media Note : Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.


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