1318.3 - Qld Stats, Aug 2008
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/08/2008
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Land and soil
Agricultural businesses (in scope for this survey) occupy approximately 143,871,000 ha, or 83% of Queensland's area, and range from large pastoral holdings occupying millions of hectares, to small market gardens and undercover agriculture industries occupying less than 1 hectare.
This article presents estimates compiled from the second survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics dedicated to Natural Resource Management (NRM). The survey asked managers of agricultural businesses to identify the extent and type of weed, pest, and land and soil problems present on their land, and the activities they undertook to prevent or manage them. It also asked managers of agricultural businesses to provide details of the costs and effort on addressing these problems.
The results provide an important perspective into NRM activities and problems occurring on Queensland agricultural businesses during 2006–07. As many of the data items on the NRM survey rely on the perceptions and attitudes of the person completing the form, care should be taken when comparing data from this publication to data from other sources (see paragraph 26 of the Explanatory Notes).
In 2006-07, 93% of Queensland agricultural businesses reported undertaking NRM activities to prevent or manage weeds, pests and soil. In total, undertaking these activities cost $572 million, or $20,067 per agricultural business or $4,139 for each 1,000 ha under management.
Of the $572 million spent, 23% ($130 million) was spent on herbicides, 18% ($105 million) on pesticides and insecticides, and 6.8% ($39 million) on soil conditioners (excluding fertilisers). The remaining 52% ($298 million) was spent on payment to contractors (excluding herbicides, pesticides/insecticides and soil conditioners), labour and other costs.
A total of almost 2.4 million person days was spent addressing these problems, an average of 84 person days per agricultural business reporting NRM activities or 17 person days per 1,000 ha under management.
In 2006-07, 68% of agricultural businesses in Queensland reported weed related problems on their holdings. Of these, the most common weed related problem was decreased value of production (75%), followed by decreased value of holding (39%) and poisoned stock (29%).
Weed Related Problems(a), Queensland - 2006-07
In 2006-07, 86% of agricultural businesses in Queensland reported undertaking weed related activities to prevent or manage weeds on their holdings. Of all agricultural businesses undertaking weed related activities, the major method of control was the application of herbicides (87%), followed by slashing, cutting or mowing (56%) and pulling manual removal or chipping (54%).
Weed Related Activities(a), Queensland - 2006-07
The total expenditure on managing weeds by agricultural businesses in Queensland was $269 million. Those agricultural businesses undertaking weed related activities reported spending an average of $10,296 per agricultural business. The cost of managing weeds per 1,000 ha was $2,561 in Queensland, less than half the national average ($5490).
Nearly half (48% or $130 million) of the total expenditure on weed related management ($269 million) was spent on herbicides.
The management of weed related problems involved in excess of 1 million person days, or 41 person days per agricultural business in Queensland reporting weed related activities, corresponding to an average effort of 10 person days per 1,000 ha. Of all states and territories, Queensland recorded the highest average effort per agricultural business.
In 2006-07, 73% of agricultural businesses in Queensland reported that they had pest problems, while 86% reported some type of pest on their holding. The presence of native animals and birds was the most commonly reported type (79% of agricultural businesses reporting pests), followed by feral and domestic animals (67%), insect pests (60%) and other pests (including parasites, slugs, nematodes, mites, etc.) (40%).
Of agricultural businesses in Queensland reporting pest related problems, crop damage or decreased crop production was the most commonly reported problem (58%), followed by decreased livestock production (55%).
Pest Related Problems(a), Queensland - 2006-07
In Queensland, 81% of agricultural businesses reported that they had undertaken activities to manage pest related problems in 2006-07. Of these, the use of pesticides and/or insecticides was the commonly reported management activity (79%), followed by shooting/trapping (54%) and baiting (35%).
Pest Related Activities(a), Queensland - 2006-07
Agricultural businesses in Queensland reported spending a total of $182 million undertaking pest related management activities in 2006-07. Of this total, 58% ($105 million) was spent on pesticides and/or insecticides. In Queensland, an average of $7,394 was spent by each agricultural business undertaking pest related activities.
Approximately 824,000 person days was spent undertaking pest related management activities in Queensland. Queensland recorded the second highest average effort (33 person days) per agricultural business of all states and territories in 2006-07.
LAND AND SOIL
Half (50%) of agricultural businesses in Queensland reported land and soil related problems in 2006-07. Of agricultural businesses reporting land and soil related problems, those most frequently reported were erosion (59%), soil compaction (50%) and surface waterlogging (19%).
Land and Soil Problems(a), Queensland - 2006-07
In Queensland, 55% of agricultural businesses reported activities to manage or prevent land soil problems in 2006-07. Of these agricultural businesses, the most commonly reported activity was the selection of crop and/or pasture type (46%), followed by grazing management (42%) and the addition of soil conditioners (excluding fertilisers) (39%).
Land and Soil Related Activities(a), Queensland - 2006-07
In Queensland, $121 million was spent on activities to manage land and soil related problems in 2006-07. Of this total, approximately one-third (32% or $39 million) was spent on soil conditioners (excluding fertilisers).
Of agricultural businesses reporting the management of land and soil related problems, the average expenditure in Queensland was $7,206 per agricultural business.
The cost of managing land and soil related problems by area in Queensland was $1,426 per 1,000 ha, compared with the national average of $2,755 per 1,000 ha.
Approximately 486,000 person days were spent managing land and soil related problems in 2006-07. Agricultural businesses reporting activities to manage land and soil related problems reported spending an average of 29 person days of effort on the management of land and soil related problems.
More information on this topic can be found in Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, 2006-07 (cat. no. 4620.0).
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