Vegetation management refers to practices to protect and/or regenerate vegetation on agricultural land.
In Australia, a total of 68.9 million hectares of agricultural land had some sort of vegetation management practices applied. Of this total, around 43.8 million hectares (or 64% of the total) had a reduction in grazing pressure as the method to protect or regenerate vegetation. 16.9 million hectares (or 39% of all agricultural land with reduced grazing pressure) was in Queensland. Weed management was undertaken on around 14.7 million hectares, with just under 3 million hectares being managed in New South Wales, and around 2.7 million hectares in the Northern Territory (20% and 18% respectively). Fencing off or excluding stock was undertaken on around 3.8 million hectares of agricultural land in Australia, with around a third being undertaken in Western Australia.
Based upon land area, the main purposes for re-vegetation of land were livestock production (54%), environmental purposes (44%) and plantation for harvest (1%).
Approximately 8,200 agricultural businesses (or 6% of total agricultural businesses) in Australia reported converting land to be used for a different purpose. Of the 1.8 million hectares converted, around 874,000 hectares of pasture were converted to crop (or 48% of land converted).
The Subtropical Highlands region showed 23% of its total agricultural land area as being protected or regenerated, while the Arid region protected or regenerated 22% of its total agricultural land area.
The Mediterranean West and Wheatbelt West regions contained the greatest proportion of agricultural businesses converting land with 15% and 14% respectively.
In terms of ways to protect and/or regenerate vegetation, the most common practice in the Wheatbelt North and Semi Arid regions was to reduce grazing pressure. Management of weeds was the most common in the Wheatbelt East and Subtropical Highlands regions, whilst in the Wheatbelt Central and the Wheatbelt Central East regions, fencing off or excluding livestock was the predominant way to protect and/or regenerate vegetation (see map below).
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