4623.0 - Characteristics of Australia's Irrigated Farms, 2000-01 to 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/09/2006  First Issue
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  • Irrigated farms generate one-quarter of Australia's agricultural production (Media Release)


September 27, 2006
Embargo 11.30am (AEST)

Irrigated farms generate one-quarter of Australia's agricultural production

Irrigated farms generate one-quarter of the gross value of Australia's agricultural production, according to a joint report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Productivity Commission.

The gross value of irrigated production was $9 billion in 2003-04. Irrigated horticulture made up 52% of the gross value followed by irrigated pastures (24%) and irrigated broadacre crops (24%).

The report found that irrigated farms with a higher value of production were more likely to irrigate in successive years. These farms also incurred lower ongoing irrigation expenses relative to their irrigation water use and were more likely to recycle irrigation water and use irrigation scheduling equipment.

Irrigated farms of all sizes engaged in the trade of irrigation water, although water trading was not a frequent event for most farms. Farms with irrigated pastures were the most active water traders, with 43% participating in some form of trade in the three years to 2003-04, compared with 36% for broadacre and 27% for horticulture farms.

The collaborative arrangement between the ABS and the Productivity Commission was the first of its type between the two organisations and its success demonstrates the potential for research and analysis of ABS data sets.

More detailed analysis of farm irrigation practices and management is found in Characteristics of Australia's Irrigated Farms 2000-01 to 2003-04 (cat. no. 4623.0).