In Australia, approximately 76,000 agricultural businesses (or 56% of the total) reported applying fertiliser on their holding, across an area of 41.8 million hectares.
Fertiliser drilled below the surface was reported as the dominant application method across 23 million hectares of land. Western Australia had the largest area of this method of application, with 8.3 million hectares (36% of the total direct drill area), followed by New South Wales with 5.4 million hectares (24% of the total direct drill area).
NITROGEN BASED FERTILISER USE
Nitrogen based fertilisers were applied by 48,700 agricultural businesses, which is around 64% of all businesses using fertiliser. In total, nitrogen based fertilisers were applied to 32.3 million hectares of land, with ammonium phosphates application covering the largest area, 12.4 million hectares. Urea application was the next most common, covering 11.2 million hectares of land.
Nearly 40% of the area that nitrogen based fertilisers were applied to was in Western Australia covering 12.6 million hectares. Urea was applied to 4.4 million hectares, and ammonium phosphate was applied to 3.5 million hectares of Western Australian agricultural land.
Nitrogen based fertilisers were applied to around 17.2 million hectares of non-irrigated crop land nationally. Western Australia dominated this practice, accounting for 7.3 million hectares, or 43% of the national area where nitrogen based fertilisers were applied to non-irrigated crops.
Footnote(s): (a) Includes ACT. (b) Zero values may represent data that is not available for publication due to confidentiality restrictions.
Nationally, slow release fertilisers were applied by 17,500 agricultural businesses, or 23% of those applying fertiliser. Slow release fertilisers were applied to a total of 6.5 million hectares of land in Australia. Nitrous slow release fertiliser was applied to 2.4 million hectares and urea slow release was applied to 2.3 million hectares of land, each representing just over a third of the total area to which slow release fertilisers were applied.
Urea slow release fertilisers were applied to 693,000 hectares of Western Australian agricultural land, representing around 30% of the Australian area of urea slow release application.
Approximately 970 agricultural businesses applied a fertiliser that contained a nitrification inhibitor, with Victoria reporting the highest amount at 281 businesses.
AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTS (AAE)
The Wheatbelt West region reported 6.8 million hectares of fertiliser being drilled below the surface, the largest area of all Australian Agricultural Environment regions. The Wheatbelt Central region reported 6.1 million hectares.
Broadcasting fertiliser onto the land surface was most prominent in the Wheatbelt West region, with 2.9 million hectares of land being fertilised in that way. The Wheatbelt East region reported 2.5 million hectares of land being fertilised by that method.
Broadcasting fertiliser onto the land surface was the most common application method in nine Australian Agricultural Environments, and drilling below the surface was the most common method in eight. Only agricultural businesses in the Arid region used the fertigation method more than any other to apply fertiliser (see map below).
AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTS - NITROGEN BASED FERTILISER USE
The Wheatbelt Central region reported the largest area of ammonium phosphates use, with 3.8 million hectares covered, at an application rate of 0.11 tonnes per hectare.
The Wheatbelt West region reported urea use across 3.4 million hectares of land, with an application rate of 0.07 tonnes per hectare. The Wheatbelt Central region reported urea use across 2.2 million hectares of land, at a rate of 0.08 tonnes per hectare.
The Wheatbelt Central (52%) and Wheatbelt East (43%) regions had the highest percentage of agricultural businesses applying nitrogen based fertilisers (see map below).
AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENTS - SLOW RELEASE FERTILISER USE
Agricultural businesses in the Wheatbelt Central region applied urea slow release fertiliser to 583,000 hectares of agricultural land, whilst nitrous slow release fertilisers were applied to 783,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Wheatbelt West region.
The Wheatbelt West (17%) and Temperate Coast South (16%) regions had the highest percentage of agricultural businesses applying slow release fertilisers (see map below).
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