LAND USE AND AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITY
In 2009-10, approximately 52% of Australia's total land area was managed by agricultural businesses, a 4% decrease since 2007-08. On a state basis, the lowest proportion of land managed by agricultural businesses was in Tasmania (24% of state area) while the highest was in Queensland (75% of state area). The largest change in land managed by agricultural businesses was in the Northern Territory which has decreased by 13% since 2007-08.
In 2009-10, the majority of agricultural businesses were engaged in grazing activities (78%), an 8% increase since 2007-08. This was the most common activity in all states, except South Australia, where cropping activity was most common (72%). Nationally, 88% of agricultural land was used for grazing, of this, 15% was on improved pasture and 73% on other agricultural land.
Nationally, almost half (48%) of all agricultural businesses in Australia were engaged in cropping activities, a decline of 7% since 2007-08. Agricultural businesses reported that 8% of land was used for crops, ranging from less than 1% in the Northern Territory to 37% in Victoria.
While relatively few agricultural businesses were engaged in horticulture on a national basis (17% of all agricultural businesses), and despite a decline of 5% since 2007-08, almost half (45%) of the agricultural businesses in the Northern Territory reported that they had undertaken horticultural activities, mainly fruit and nut production.