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4620.0 - Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/06/2008   
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NOTES


ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

This publication presents estimates compiled from the second survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics dedicated to Natural Resource Management (NRM).

The survey asked managers of agricultural businesses to identify the extent and type of weed, pest, and land and soil problems present on their land, and the activities they undertook to prevent or manage them. It also asked managers of agricultural businesses to provide details of the costs and effort spent on addressing these problems.

The results provide an important perspective into NRM activities and problems occurring on Australian agricultural businesses during 2006-07. As as many of the data items on the NRM survey rely on the perceptions and attitudes of the person completing the form, care should be taken when comparing data from this publication to data from other sources (see paragraph 26 of the Explanatory Notes).

The ABS welcomes feedback on this publication in terms of relevance, usefulness, quality and range of data presented. Additional information accompanies this publication on the ABS website as datacubes, and more detailed information may be available on request. Please send any comments or questions to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


INQUIRIES

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


SUMMARY COMMENTARY


INTRODUCTION

Agricultural businesses (in scope for this survey) occupy approximately 425,449,000 ha, or 55.3% of Australia's area, and range from large pastoral holdings occupying millions of hectares, to small market gardens and undercover agriculture industries occupying less than 1 hectare.

This publication provides an overview of the Natural Resource Management (NRM) activities undertaken by this broad spectrum of Agricultural businesses, concerning the management of weed, pest, and land and soil issues.

The different geographical locations, management strategies and requirements of these various types of agricultural businesses are reflected in the difference of intensity of the management of weeds, pests, and land and soil across Australia.

Details of these agricultural industries for the period 2006-07 can be found in ABS publications [Agricultural Commodities, 2006-07 - cat. no. 7121.0, Principal Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary, 2006-07 - cat. no. 7501.0 and Water Use on Australian Farms, 2006-07 - cat. no. 4618.0].


WEED, PEST, AND LAND AND SOIL RELATED PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES

State and National

In 2006-07, 94.3% of Australian agricultural businesses reported undertaking NRM activities to prevent or manage weeds, pests, and land and soil. In total, undertaking these activities cost almost $3 billion, or $21,094 per agricultural business or $7,522 for each 1000 ha under management.

Of the approximately $3 billion spent, 32.8% ($982 million) was spent on herbicides, 14.4% ($430 million) on pesticides and insecticides, and 10.2% ($305 million) on soil conditioners (excluding fertilisers). The remaining 42.5% ($1.3 billion) was spent on payment to contractors (excluding herbicides, pesticides/insecticides and soil conditioners), labour, and other costs.

A total of almost 9.4 million person days was spent addressing these problems, an average of 66 person days per agricultural business reporting NRM activities or 24 person days per 1,000 ha under management.

Agricultural businesses in New South Wales spent the most overall on weed, pest, and land and soil activities ($933 million, or 31.2% of NRM expenditure nationally). On an individual basis, agricultural businesses in Western Australia spent the most on weed, pest, and land and soil activities, averaging $41,094. In comparison, agricultural businesses in Victoria and Tasmania spent an average of $16,156 and $14,193 respectively. However, on average, agricultural businesses in Tasmania and Victoria spent the most managing these NRM problems per thousand hectares ($38,644 and $44,822 respectively). These two states also spent the most amount of time per thousand hectares managing their weed, pest, and land and soil problems, both averaging 137 person days per 1,000 hectares.

Agricultural businesses in New South Wales invested over 3 million person days managing their weed, pest, and land and soil problems. On an individual basis, agricultural businesses in Queensland spent on average 84 person days managing their weed, pest, and land and soil problems, followed by Western Australia (75 person days) and the Northern Territory (74 person days).

Nationally, the most commonly reported NRM problems were pests (70.4% of agricultural businesses), followed by weeds (66.0%) and land and soil (56.4%). Weed related management activities were reported by 88.8% of agricultural businesses, followed by pest related management activities (80.4%) and land and soil related management activities (60.1%).

More agricultural establishments manage weeds, even though pest related problems were the most commonly reported NRM issue.

Typically, a higher proportion of farmers reported undertaking activities than those reporting a problem, indicating that NRM problems are managed preventatively as well as remedially.

1.1 NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT(a), Problems and Activities - by State - 2006-07

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

Number

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

Agricultural businesses reporting NRM problems (no.)

Weed related problems
32 468
23 403
20 776
9 924
9 145
3 101
405
99 222
Pest related problems
33 932
24 356
22 308
11 100
10 306
3 482
462
105 947
Land and soil related problems
28 027
21 203
15 272
8 673
9 104
2 364
279
84 922

Agricultural businesses reporting NRM activities (no.)

Weed related activities
43 278
33 552
26 168
14 443
11 610
3 979
548
133 578
Pest related activities
39 041
29 241
24 647
12 456
11 272
3 798
509
120 963
Land and soil related activities
29 709
22 723
16 739
9 530
8 942
2 473
253
90 368

(a) The management of weed, pest, and land and soil related problems. The management of other types of problems are not included.
(b) Includes ACT.

1.2 WEED, PEST, AND LAND AND SOIL MANAGEMENT, Expenditure and Effort - by State - 2006-07

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

Number

Agricultural businesses
47 629
37 410
30 551
15 815
13 592
4 766
640
150 403
Agricultural businesses reporting NRM activities(b)
45 243
35 127
28 519
15 110
12 809
4 386
600
141 794

('000 ha)

Area of holding
58 661
13 250
143 871
50 065
96 742
1 659
61 202
425 449

Agricultural businesses reporting NRM activities(b)

NRM expenditure
Total expenditure ($m)
933
568
572
315
526
62
14
2 991
Average expenditure ($/agricultural business)(c)
20 632
16 156
20 067
20 826
41 094
14 193
24 004
21 094
Average expenditure ($/'000 ha)(d)
16 745
44 822
4 139
7 078
6 059
38 644
248
7 522
NRM effort
Total effort (person days)
3 137 491
1 728 401
2 395 946
886 234
966 817
219 899
44 599
9 379 387
Average effort (person days/agricultural business)(e)
69
49
84
59
75
50
74
66
Average effort (person days/'000ha)(f)
56
137
17
20
11
137
1
24

(a) Includes ACT.
(b) Businesses reporting activities comprising weed, pest, and land and soil related activities. Other types of activity are not included.
(c) Total expenditure on weed, pest, and land and soil related activities, divided by the number of agricultural businesses reporting weed, pest, and land and soil related activities.
(d) Total expenditure on weed, pest, and land and soil related activities, divided by the total area ('000 ha) of agricultural businesses reporting weed, pest, and land and soil related activities.
(e) Total effort on weed, pest, and land and soil related activities, divided by the number of agricultural businesses reporting weed, pest, and land and soil related activities.
(f) Total effort on weed, pest, and land and soil related activities, divided by the total area ('000 ha) of agricultural businesses reporting weed, pest, and land and soil related activities.



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