The most common crop residue management practice reported in 2014-15 was for residue to be retained standing, which was undertaken on 7.4 million hectares of crops. This practice was followed by residue retained on the ground and residue grazed off, with each reported to be used on 4.8 million hectares of crops.
Nationally, there was a 650 thousand hectare, or 16%, increase in the area of crop residue being grazed off since 2013-14. The increased use of this practice can, in part, be attributed to dry conditions across the eastern states and the opportunity for agricultural businesses to use crop stubble as an additional food source for some of their livestock.
Agricultural businesses undertaking cereal cropping continued to have the largest areas of land on which crop residue management practices were undertaken, with 18.3 million hectares reported. This represented 77% of the national area of all crop residue management practices undertaken. The next largest crop was oilseeds, with 2.9 million hectares of crop residue management practices reported.
Western Australia continued to have the largest area of crop residue management practices reported, with 8.4 million hectares, followed by New South Wales (inc ACT), with 6 million hectares.
Percentage of agricultural land reported as improved pasture for grazing, 2014-15 by Natural Resource Management Regions
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