Did you know that farmers are among the world’s best environmentalists? Well it’s true, especially Australian farmers!
The AustralianFarmers team have collected some fascinating facts about our farmer’s contributions to feeding the nation and the world in the most sustainable way possible in celebration of World Environment Day!
Spoiler alert: we’re doing well, and we’re committed to doing even better!
Our food and fibre sector has led the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity.
In fact, Aussie farmers have helped reduce emissions by a massive 63 per cent between 1996 and 2016.
Australian agriculture has set a goal to be trending towards carbon neutrality by 2030. A huge task but is getting closer with the help of Government climate policies.
Australia is decreasing its water consumption each year.
Australian water consumption decreased in 2015-16 by seven per cent from the previous year. The largest decrease in water consumption was made by the agriculture sector.
Irrigation farmers are one of the main reason why Australia can grow more with less water. Irrigation farming actually accounts for 30 per cent of all Australian agricultural value – about $9-11.5 billion a year.
Australia has an accessible water storage capacity of almost 81,000 gigalitres and last year Australian agriculture used around 10 million mega litres of water.
Australian farmers take land management and conservation seriously.
Since 2011, areas managed for conservation have continued to expand to about 18 per cent of Australia’s land mass.
Farmers are at the frontline of delivering environmental outcomes on behalf of all Australians community with 94 per cent of Australian farmers actively undertaking natural resource management projects.
In fact, 6.8 million hectares of agricultural land has been set aside by Australian farmers for conservation purposes.
Farmers manage and care for 48 per cent of Australia’s land mass.
Farmers aim to keep the land in pristine condition by implementing zero or minimum tillage practices where farmers undertake no cultivation apart from sowing or planting.
Of the 20 million hectares of crop land cultivated, 79 per cent receive no cultivation apart from sowing or planting and is increasing with each year.
The sophistication of Australia’s agricultural land management continues to increase, with ongoing reductions in the intensity of agricultural chemical use, more carful use of fertilisers and more flexible approaches to grazing management to reduce erosion and increase productivity.
Farmers spend millions of dollars each year managing weeds to preserve the quality of the land.
Last year weed control cost Australian farmers on average $4.8 billion, or $13 million a day.
Farmers spend this much to ensure the nation’s biodiversity is upheld and native plants can thrive.
For more information visit Farm Facts.