4618.0 - Water Use on Australian Farms, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2018   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


WATER USE ON AUSTRALIAN FARMS, year ended 30 June 2017

PASTURES AND CROPS IRRIGATED
AUSTRALIA

Agricultural businesses
Agricultural businesses irrigating
Area under pasture or crop
Area watered
Volume applied
Application rate
no.
no.
ha
'000
ha
'000
ML
'000
ML/ha
TOTAL
2010-11
93 344
28 463
388 994
1 838
6 326
3.4
2015-16
85 681
22 690
371 078
2 148
8 381
3.9
2016-17
88 073
22 103
393 797
2 244
9 104
4.1
Pasture, cereal and other crops used for grazing
64 964
6 270
340 763
598
1 540
2.6
Pasture, cereal and other crops cut for hay
26 164
2 977
1 619
154
460
3.0
Pasture, cereal and other crops cut for silage
6 563
1 102
392
68
180
2.6
Rice
674
674
82
82
940
11.4
Other cereals for grain or seed
26 035
1 406
18 618
286
502
1.8
Cotton
1 009
760
519
328
2 566
7.8
Sugar cane
3 626
1 621
453
212
974
4.6
Other broadacre crops
15 111
835
5 653
123
167
1.4
Fruit trees, nut trees, plantation or berry fruits
4 996
3 917
169
142
836
5.9
Vegetables for human consumption or seed
3 737
3 115
120
98
386
3.9
Nurseries, cut flowers and cultivated turf
1 992
1 669
16
12
61
4.9
Grapevines
3 854
3 533
137
123
436
3.6



Graph Image for Irrigation Activity by Commodity

KEY POINTS
  • The number of businesses applying water in 2016-17 fell 3% to 22,100, down from 22,700 in 2015-16. This reflects the increased water availability in 2016-17 due to average and above average rainfall across most of Australia.
  • Total volume of area watered increased 4% to 2.2 million hectares in 2016-17. Increases to area watered for rice, cotton and pasture fed off are driving the national increase in 2016-17. The increase in volume applied was driven by a large increase in NSW, up 46% to 3.8 ML, primarily for rice and cotton crops.
  • Pasture, cereal and other crops for grazing accounted for the largest area of crops irrigated during the 2016-17 period with 598,000 hectares, up 4% from the previous year however the total volume of water applied to pastures for grazing fell 8% , down to 1.5 million ML. Victoria, which irrigates the largest area of pasture, cereal and other crops for grazing had a 12% decrease in the volume of water applied (down to 793 thousand megalitres). This is attributed to the higher rainfall in 2016-17 compared to 2015-16.
  • Area of irrigated cotton increased 55% in 2016-17 to 328,000 ha. Increases were seen in both New South Wales and Queensland, up 50% and 65% respectively. This reflects the 59% increase in area planted for irrigated cotton in 2016-17, with a 52% increase in New South Wales and a 71% increase in Queensland. The increase in area planted in 2016-17 is due to increased water availability with higher than average rainfall seen in parts of NSW and QLD. The volume of water applied to cotton increased 79% to 2.6 million ML, with a 66% increase in New South Wales and a 108% increase in Queensland.