4627.0 - Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2014   
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27 June 2014
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
More farmers keeping their stubble

Australian farmers opted to burn less crop stubble last year, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"Farmers were keeping or grazing off crop stubble in 2012-13, instead of burning," said Cherie Poulton from the ABS.

"The area of farms where crop stubble was burnt off fell by 27 per cent to 2.3 million hectares, while retained or grazed stubble went up by 26 per cent to 15.6 million hectares.

“We also found that just over 22,000 farmers applied some sort of soil enhancer to their farm land, an increase of about three per cent on last year.

"Additionally, farmers that monitor their ground cover in paddocks still predominantly do so by visual estimates, but actually counting the number of plants in an area has increased as a monitoring method.

"Agricultural land represented just over half - 52 per cent - of Australia’s total land area," said Ms Poulton.

The ABS also found that 86 per cent of agricultural land (more than 340 million hectares) was mainly used for grazing, and just under eight per cent (nearly 32 million hectares) was mainly used for crops.

The results are part of the publication Land Management and Farming in Australia, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4627.0), which provides a snapshot of a variety of farm management practices including cropping and pasture management, as well as use of fertilisers and soil enhancers. The publication is available for free download from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
  • Please ensure when reporting ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.