7101.0 - Ag Mag - The Agriculture Newsletter, May 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2009   
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Ag Mag | the agriculture newsletter


In 2008, the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) collected a detailed set of resource management and practice data along with a set of commodity production data and water use information. These data were collected from a sample of approximately 33,000 agricultural businesses.

On 26 May 2009 the ABS released data collected in this survey on the type and area of crops irrigated and the volume of water applied in the publication Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0). Statistics are available for each State, Natural Resource Management regions and the Murray Darling Basin. Some previous estimates are included for 2003-04 to 2006-07.

Some of the interesting facts found in this report include:

  • in 2007–08, Australia's irrigation water use decreased 18% from the previous year to 6,285 gigalitres,
  • the major use of irrigation water in 2007–08 was pasture, cereal and other crops for grazing which accounted for 26% (1,641 gigalitres) of the nation's irrigation water,
  • as in 2006–07, rice growers reported a substantial decrease in irrigation water use (down 89%) in 2007–08, as did cotton growers (down 64%),
  • all states/territories' irrigation water use dropped in 2007–08 with exception of Queensland, which increased by less than 1%, and
  • of the 417 million hectares of agricultural land in Australia in 2007-08, less than 1% was irrigated at an average application rate of 3.4ML/ha.

For more information, please contact Ron Just on (03) 6222 5842.