4627.0 - Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/06/2018   
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KEY FIGURES

LAND USE ON FARMS, Australia, year ended 30 June 2017

2016-17
Change since
2015-16
%

AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES AND LAND AREA

Agricultural businesses (no.)
88 073
2.8%
Area of agricultural holdings ('000 ha)
393 797
6.1%
Total land area ('000 ha) (a)
769 202

LAND USE FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION ('000 ha)

Land use for agricultural production
372 721
8.5%
Crops
31 074
2.3%
Grazing
340 763
9.1%
- Improved pasture
35 567
-4.5%
- Other grazing land
305 196
11.0%
Forestry (b)
774
-12.5%
- Plantation forest
193
-19.5%
- Native forests
581
-9.9%
Other agricultural purposes
110
-23.1%
Land not used for agricultural purposes
15 447
6.2%
- Land set aside for conservation/protection purposes
7 420
7.3%
- Other land not used for agricultural production
8 027
5.2%


(a) Total land area supplied by Geoscience Australia
(b) Total area of Land used for forestry now includes the area of both Plantation and Native forests.

KEY POINTS
  • Agricultural businesses operated across just over half (51%) of Australia's total land area during 2016-17.
  • At 30 June 2017 there were 394 million hectares of agricultural land in Australia, a 6% increase on the previous year. Coinciding with this increase in agricultural land, there were 2,400 more agricultural businesses at 30 June 2017, a 3% increase on 2015-16 estimates.
  • Favourable weather conditions across much of the country saw the area of land used for crops in Australia increase to 31 million hectares in 2016-17. The increase was driven by South Australia and Western Australia, up 8% and 4% respectively on last year's estimate. South Australia, in particular, saw a resurgence in agriculture production after a poor year in 2015-16 with record high yields for many crops and farmers taking advantage of the conditions by planting additional areas of crops.
  • Of the 394 million hectares of land operated by agricultural businesses in Australia, 341 million hectares (or 87%) was used for grazing, a 9% increase when compared to 2015-16. An estimated 65,000 agricultural businesses (or 74%) of all agricultural businesses, reported grazing land, a 6% increase from the previous year.
  • Queensland continues to be the largest contributor to the area of grazing land, with an estimated 129 million hectares of land used for grazing in 2016-17.

Grazing land area, hectares (millions), 2016-17
by National Resource Management Regions
Map: Graing land area



Area set aside for Conservation or Protection purposes, hectares ('000), 2016-17
by National Resource Management Regions

Map: Area set aside for conservation or protection purposes