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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Agriculture >> Irrigation

The high variability in river flow and annual rainfall, which are features of the Australian environment, means that successful ongoing production of crops and pastures is dependent on irrigation.

Vegetables, fruit (including grapes) and sugar cane are the most intensively irrigated crops, with 78%, 70% and 47% respectively of their total growing areas sown being irrigated. However the total area of land irrigated, about 2.4 million ha in 2000 (table 16.3), represents less than 1% of the total land used for agriculture.

Most irrigated land is located within the confines of the Murray-Darling Basin, which covers parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.


16.3 AREA OF CROPS AND PASTURES IRRIGATED - 1999-2000

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha

Pastures (native or sown)
265.2
504.9
53.9
57.9
10.5
28.2
4.1
-
924.7
Cereals
Rice
127.2
(a)
(a)
(a)
-
(a)
-
-
127.2
Other cereals
164.8
(a)
(a)
(a)
2.2
(a)
-
-
167.0
Total
293.9
23.6
53.9
4.4
2.2
1.7
-
-
379.7
Cotton
267.5
(a)
148.8
(a)
*1.0
(a)
(a)
(a)
417.0
Sugar cane cut for crushing
-
(a)
200.2
(a)
1.7
(a)
(a)
(a)
201.9
Vegetables for human consumption
13.9
21.4
27.7
11.0
7.9
17.2
-
-
99.2
Fruit (including nuts)
23.1
23.0
22.7
17.4
6.0
3.0
1.5
-
96.6
Grapevines
25.4
31.0
1.8
49.6
5.1
-
-
-
113.6
All other crops
35.9
8.8
17.6
8.1
1.3
11.9
-
-
83.7
Total
944.1
625.8
547.8
159.1
39.2
62.1
6.0
-
2,384.3

(a) Data not separately collected.

Source: Agriculture, Australia, 1999-2000 (7113.0).


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