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

CROP AND PASTURE MANAGEMENT, Australia, year ended 30 June 2017


Area
Movement since
('000 ha)
2015-16

CROP AND PASTURE CULTIVATION
Cultivation for crops and/or pasture
Total area cultivated (including no cultivation apart from sowing)
23 191
4.2%
No cultivation apart from sowing
18 047
7.1%
One cultivation
3 059
-4.8%
Two cultivations
1 271
-4.0%
Three or more cultivations
813
-5.8%
Crop land sown to pasture
Crop land sown to pasture for less than six months of the year
586
15.7%
Crop land sown to pasture for six months or more of the year
814
12.2%

INTERCROPPING PRACTICES
Mixed inter-row/strip cropping
360
-37.8%
Relay cropping
26
116.2%
Row alley cropping
29
-45.6%
Cover cropping
189
-6.0%
Pasture cropping
205
-1.4%
Other intercropping practices
42
523.9%


KEY POINTS
  • Agricultural businesses reported cultivating 23 million hectares of land for crops and/or pasture during 2016-17, a 935,000 hectare (or 4%) increase on 2015-16. The most common land cultivation practice for crops and pasture continues to be zero or minimum till where farmers undertake no cultivation apart from sowing or planting.
  • Of the 20 million hectares of crop land cultivated 79% (or 16 million hectares) received no cultivation, apart from sowing or planting, a 16% increase on 2015-16. Similarly, 70% (or 2 million hectares) of the 3 million hectares of pasture land cultivated received no cultivation, apart from sowing, which was a 33% decrease in area on the 2015-16 estimate.
  • Western Australia continues to have the largest area of land cultivated for crops and/or pastures, with 8 million hectares, followed closely by New South Wales (including the ACT) with 6 million hectares.
  • Nationally, 5,000 agricultural businesses undertook some form of intercropping practices on 850 thousand hectares of land in 2016-17. While the number of business undertaking intercropping increased by 5% the area on which intercropping practices were undertaken decreased by 20%, driven by a 32% drop in Victoria's area of intercropping (down to 206,400 hectares). New South Wales (incuding the ACT) continues to be the main state reporting intercropping practices with 320 thousand hectares, or 38% of the nation's total area on which intercropping was undertaken.
  • The area on which Mixed inter-row/strip cropping was undertaken decreased to 359,700 hectares (down 38%) in 2016-17. Despite this fall, it remained the most common form of intercropping, accounting for 42% of agricultural land using any form of intercropping, down from 55% in 2015-16.

Total area of Intercropping undertaken by hectares ('000), 2016-17
by Natural Resource Management Regions

Map: Percentage of cropping businesses undertaking intercropping