|AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES AND LAND AREA|
|Agricultural businesses (no.)||88 073||2.8%|
|Area of agricultural holdings ('000 ha)||393 797||6.1%|
|Total land area ('000 ha) (a)||769 202|
|LAND USE FOR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION ('000 ha)|
|Land use for agricultural production||372 721||8.5%|
|- Improved pasture||35 567||-4.5%|
|- Other grazing land||305 196||11.0%|
|- Plantation forest||193||-19.5%|
|- Native forests||581||-9.9%|
|Other agricultural purposes||110||-23.1%|
|Land not used for agricultural purposes||15 447||6.2%|
|- Land set aside for conservation/protection purposes||7 420||7.3%|
|- Other land not used for agricultural production||8 027||5.2%|
a. Total land area supplied by Geoscience Australia
b. Total area of Land used for forestry now includes the area of both Plantation and Native forests.
Land use on farms, Australia, year ended 30 June 2017
- Agricultural businesses operated across just over half (51%) of Australia's total land area during 2016-17.
- At 30 June 2017 there were 394 million hectares of agricultural land in Australia, a 6% increase on the previous year. Coinciding with this increase in agricultural land, there were 2,400 more agricultural businesses at 30 June 2017, a 3% increase on 2015-16 estimates.
- Favourable weather conditions across much of the country saw the area of land used for crops in Australia increase to 31 million hectares in 2016-17. The increase was driven by South Australia and Western Australia, up 8% and 4% respectively on last year's estimate. South Australia, in particular, saw a resurgence in agriculture production after a poor year in 2015-16 with record high yields for many crops and farmers taking advantage of the conditions by planting additional areas of crops.
- Of the 394 million hectares of land operated by agricultural businesses in Australia, 341 million hectares (or 87%) was used for grazing, a 9% increase when compared to 2015-16. An estimated 65,000 agricultural businesses (or 74%) of all agricultural businesses, reported grazing land, a 6% increase from the previous year.
- Queensland continues to be the largest contributor to the area of grazing land, with an estimated 129 million hectares of land used for grazing in 2016-17.