4653.0 - Environment and Energy News, Dec 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/01/2009   
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During the 2006–07 financial year, Australian farmers spent $1,574 million controlling weeds, which is more than pests ($768 million) and land and soil problems ($649 million) combined.

The ABS publication Natural Resource Management on Australian Farms 2006–07 (cat. no. 4620.0), reported the total cost of managing
these problems was $2,991 million, or an average of about $21,000 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, more than half ($430 million) was spent on pesticides.

For further information, contact Ron Just on (03) 6222 5842 or ron.just@abs.gov.au