4630.0 - Agricultural Resource Management Practices, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2013  First Issue
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In 2011-12:

  • Approximately 105,000 agricultural businesses (or 77% of all agricultural businesses) had livestock on their holding during the reference period. Of these businesses, 71% indicated that they held cattle and/or calves while 40% reported that they held sheep and/or lambs on their holding.
  • Around 62,000 agricultural businesses reported rotating livestock on grazing land, with 21,000 (34%) of those in New South Wales and 17,000 (27%) in Victoria.
  • Of the businesses breeding sheep in Australia, the lambing rate per 100 ewes was 98 for meat sheep and 90 for wool sheep.
  • Of lambs produced, 97 meat lambs per 100 ewes were weaned, while the figure for wool lambs weaned was lower at 85 lambs per 100 ewes.
  • The average age of lambs turned off was 13 months with an average weight of 40 kg.
  • Tactical grazing of sheep and goats was the predominant rotation method, with approximately 21 million head rotated this way nationally, in 153,000 paddocks covering 14 million hectares.
  • Of the businesses breeding cattle in Australia, the calving rate per 100 cows was 76 for meat cows and 79 for dairy cows.
  • Approximately 6.5 million cattle were rotationally grazed across an estimated 504,000 paddocks, covering an area of 24.4 million hectares. Businesses in Victoria reported rotation practices for around 2 million cattle, or 30% of the national figure, across 208,000 paddocks (41% of all paddocks). Queensland businesses rotationally grazed around 1.7 million cattle or 26% of the national total, across 10.8 million hectares, or 45% of Australia's grazing area where rotation practices were conducted.
  • Set-stocking for cattle was undertaken on approximately 35.3 million hectares in Australia. Queensland accounted for 15.5 million hectares of this total (or 44%) while the Northern Territory accounted for 8.2 million hectares (or 23% of the total).

Graph Image for Livestock management practices

  • The Wheatbelt East region had the most agricultural businesses (approximately 11,000) with sheep and/or lambs on their holding (see map below).
  • Lambing rates for wool lambs was highest in the Wheatbelt Central East region with 104 lambs per 100 ewes followed by Wheatbelt Central with 96.
  • The weaning rate for wool lambs was 93 per 100 ewes in both the Wheatbelt Central and Wheatbelt Central East regions.
  • The average age of lambs turned off ranged from 17 months in the Temperate Highlands region down to 7 months in both the Wheatbelt Downs and Tropical Coast regions.
  • Average weight of lambs turned off ranged from 49 kilograms in the Subtropical Coast region to 27 kilograms in the Tropical Coast region.

Image: Map of farms with sheep/lambs

  • The Subtropical Coast region reported approximately 12,000 agricultural businesses with cattle on their holding. The region with the highest proportion of agricultural businesses keeping cattle was Semi Arid with 89% (see map below).
  • The Wheatbelt Central East region had the highest meat calving rate of 86 per 100 cows with the Tropics region reporting the lowest at 60 per 100 cows.
  • The dairy calving rate was highest in the Temperate Coast South region with 86 per 100 cows, followed by the Temperate Coast West region at 85 per cows.
  • The largest numbers of businesses weaning dairy calves were reported in the Temperate Coast East and Wheatbelt East regions with 980 and 724 respectively, and the weaning rates 55 and 56 calves per 100 cows respectively. The highest weaning rate was reported in the Mediterranean West region at 89 calves per 100 cows.

Image: Map of farms with cattle/calves

  • Nationally, 7 million head of livestock were supplied feed additives. Of feed additive types rumen buffers were supplied to the largest number of livestock (3.8 million head).
  • Of Australia's businesses supplying feed additives to livestock 34% were from Victoria and 30% from New South Wales. These states fed additives to 1.6 million and 1.8 million head of livestock respectively.
  • The Australian Agricultural Environments regions where the most businesses used feed additives were Wheatbelt East (1,700 businesses) followed by Temperate Coast East (1,400 businesses).
  • In Australia, feed supplements were supplied to 21.9 million head of livestock by a total of 25,000 businesses. Of feed supplement types, the highest reported use was in relation to lick blocks, vitamins or minerals. These were supplied to 17.5 million head of livestock nationally.
  • Of the Australian Agricultural Environments regions, feed supplements were most commonly used by businesses situated in the Subtropical Coast region (3,900 businesses) and the Wheatbelt East region (3,800 businesses).
  • For agricultural businesses the region with the highest proportion using feed supplements was Tropics (34%) followed by Semi Arid (30%) (see map below).
  • Lick blocks and/or vitamin and mineral supplements were supplied to the greatest number of livestock in the Wheatbelt East region (3.4 million head) followed by the Wheatbelt Central region (1.7 million head).

Image: Map of livestock feed supplements

  • Nationally, the average age of livestock entering feedlots was 12 months, although the average age in Queensland was around 16 months. The average time spent in a feedlot was 100 days nationally.
  • Within the Australian Agricultural Environments regions, the average age of livestock entering feedlots varied from 7 months in the Wheatbelt East region to 19 months in the Semi Arid region. The average time spent in feedlots varied between 248 days in the Temperate Coast East region down to 65 days in the Wheatbelt West region.
  • Feedlot activities were most prevalent in the Wheatbelt Central region with 178 businesses followed by the Wheatbelt East region with 97 businesses (see map below).

Image: Map of livestock feedlots