Land use on farms, Australia, year ended 30 June 2017
|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.
- 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.