In 2011-12, the largest area of irrigated land in Australia was pasture and cereal crops used for grazing or fed off, which accounted for 614,000 hectares, or 29% of the total area irrigated.
In the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), pastures and cereal crops used for grazing or fed off accounted for the largest area of irrigated land, with 398,000 hectares, or 28% of the total irrigated land in the MDB. This was closely followed by cotton, with 366,000 hectares (26%) irrigated.
Water used for irrigation
The largest volume of irrigation water was applied to cotton, which used 2,069 gigalitres, or 25% of the national irrigation total for the year (8,175 gigalitres).
Cotton used the largest volume of irrigation water in the MDB, with 1,906 gigalitres being applied, which represented nearly one third (32%) of all irrigation water used in the MDB in 2011-12.
The commodity with the highest irrigation application rate in 2011-12 was rice, which used 11.0 ML/ha in the MDB and nationally.
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