The majority of farmers surveyed in a recent on-farm study are using sustainable land management practices to improve the natural resource base and drought resilience.
The findings from the Natural Resource Management and Drought Resilience survey of farm practices demonstrates the agriculture sector’s commitment to sustainable land management.
The findings show just how much sustainable land management has become the bread-and-butter of most farming enterprises.
For example, 84% of farmers retain stubble, and nearly 70% are reducing reliance on pesticides and optimising fertiliser use.
Over the past five years, a significant number of farms surveyed had taken part in the National Landcare Program, and over half had taken up new land management practices as a result.
Lots of farmers are employing drought resilience strategies as well: destocking early in low rainfall periods (68% of farms), improving water retention (64% of farms), and investing in on-farm grain and fodder storage (58% of farms).
Just as importantly, over half of farms (58%) had a source of off-farm income and 37% of farms had diversified their agricultural enterprises over the last three years to increase their resilience to drought.
And while farming in Australia can be tough, it’s heartening to see our farmers employing best practice in both land and business management.”
The survey was funded by the National Landcare Program and the Future Drought Fund. Data from the survey will support monitoring long-term drought resilience and the effectiveness of government natural resource management programs.