Farmers Modify Practices Adjusting To Water Availability And Climatic Conditions

Farmers Modify Practices Adjusting To Water Availability And Climatic Conditions

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Regional Conditions Influence Agricultural Water Use

Victor P Taffa

Differences in regional climatic conditions appear to be influencing the use of water on Australian farms, according to Agricultural Census data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

 ABS Director of Environment and Agriculture Statistics, Lauren Binns said farmers were modifying their practices to adjust to water availability and climatic conditions.

 “This includes selling off allocations to recoup costs rather than cropping in a bad year, watering larger areas less, or changing crops planted.” Ms. Binns said.

 “Above average temperatures and dry conditions in southern Australia through 2015-16, along with record high prices for water, were critical factors in water use for Victoria and South Australia in particular.”

“Agricultural Census data showed that while the total volume of water used in 2015-16 decreased by 3 % to 9,157,291 megalitres, the total area watered across Australia increased by 4 % to 2,147,915 ha.” Ms. Binns said.

Across Australia, the Agricultural Census surveyed around 104,000 agricultural businesses. It is the ABS’ largest business collection and one of the major sources of information about the Australian agricultural industry.