4620.0 - Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/06/2008   
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June 25, 2008
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
Weed management a $1.5 billion problem for Australian Farmers: ABS

The management of weeds was the major Natural Resource Management activity for Australian farmers, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

During the 2006-07 financial year, farmers spent $1,574 million controlling weeds, which is more than pests ($768 million) and land and soil problems ($649 million) combined.

The total cost of managing these problems was $2,991 million, or an average of $21,094 per business.

Nationally, nearly two thirds of farmers reported that they had improved their natural resource management practices. Of these, 89% reported doing so to increase productivity, 88% for farm sustainability, and 75% to improve environmental protection.

Other findings include:
  • Farmers in Australia managed 425 million hectares of land, or just over half (55%) of Australia's land mass.
  • Of all expenditure on weed management, nearly two thirds ($982 million) was spent on herbicides.
  • Of all expenditure on pest management, over half ($430 million) was spent on pesticides.
  • Erosion was the most common land and soil problem, reported by 48% of the farmers, followed by soil compaction (43%) and soil acidity (42%).

These findings are based on the second Natural Resource Management survey conducted by the ABS.

More details are available in Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms 2006-07(cat. no. 4620.0).