In Australia, approximately 97,300 agricultural businesses (72%) reported having pasture on their holding, which covered an area of 76.8 million hectares.
Maintenance of ground cover was reported as the dominant pasture management practice undertaken, with 60.5 million hectares of pasture (or 79% of the total management practices) being managed in this way. Queensland accounted for 49% of the maintenance of ground cover total (or 29.7 million hectares), followed by New South Wales with 9.3 million hectares (or 15% of the maintenance of ground cover total).
7.2 million hectares of pasture were improved by introducing grass and/or legumes nationally, which represented 9% of all pastures managed. Nearly half of pasture improvement occurred in Queensland (with 3.5 million hectares) and nearly a quarter was in New South Wales with 1.6 million hectares.
2.1 million hectares of old pasture were removed nationally. 1.4 million hectares of this (or 68% of the total) was in Queensland.
The region with the largest area of maintained ground cover was the Arid region, with 21.9 million hectares of pasture being managed this way. Despite being a large area, this represented around 12% of the agricultural land in the Arid region. The region with the highest percentage of agricultural land having ground cover maintained was the Mediterranean West region, with around 40% of its agricultural area or 838,000 hectares (see map below).
The regions with the highest reported areas of old pasture removal were the Tropics, Subtropical Coast and Semi Arid regions, with 402,000, 364,000 and 357,000 hectares of old pasture being removed in these regions respectively.
The average number of days pasture was rested between grazing ranged from 139 days in the Arid region to 38 days in both the Temperate Coast South and Mediterranean West regions.
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