8 November 2021. 

AgForce has welcomed new findings that reinforce what we already know - the majority of Australian farmers are using sustainable land management practices to improve the natural resource base and drought resilience.

The ABARE’s Natural Resource Management and Drought Resilience survey of farm practices reveals 84 per cent of farmers operating commercial-scale businesses are retaining stubble, and nearly 70 per cent are reducing reliance on pesticides while optimising the use of fertiliser.

What’s more, over the past five years a significant number of farms surveyed had taken part in the National Landcare Program, with over half taking up new land management practices as a result.

ABARES’s (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences) acting Executive Director Jared Greenville said the findings show just how much sustainable land management has become the bread-and-butter of most farming enterprises.

“Lots of farmers are employing drought resilience strategies as well: destocking early in low rainfall periods (68 per cent of farms), improving water retention (64 per cent of farms), and investing in on-farm grain and fodder storage (58 per cent of farms),” he said.

“Just as importantly, over half of farms (58 per cent) had a source of off-farm income and 37 per cent of farms had diversified their agricultural enterprises over the last three years to increase their resilience to drought.”

The survey was funded by the National Landcare Program and the Future Drought Fund, and data will support monitoring long-term drought resilience and the effectiveness of government natural resource management programs.

We all know farming in Australia can be tough, so AgForce applauds the collection of evidence which show our farmers employing best practice in both land and business management.