Statistically, “Australia’s total agricultural exports, including crops and livestock was forecasted to shoot up to 72.3 billion Australian dollars in financial year 2023”.
Farming, a part of agriculture is one of the oldest human practices that involves growing crops and rearing animals for food and raw materials. Australia is one of the leading and well-established agricultural producers, popular for its clean, green, and safe produce. The country exports about two-thirds of its agricultural production which positions the country within the growing global markets, connected through established trade channels and free trade agreements.
In this blog, we have discussed some of the popular farming practices in Australia for you to choose from.
Popular Farming Practices in Australia
- Organic Farming: This type of farming combines a high level of biodiversity and environmental practices that preserve the natural resources and has better standards for animal welfare. Through organic farming, consumer’s growing demand for natural products can be met, preserving the environment concerning sustainable rural development. The term organic farming is applied to different product categories including:
- Unprocessed products like vegetables, cereals, fruits, cotton, flowers, animals, eggs, and milk.
- Processed products including cheese, bread, or instantaneous meals.
- Food for animals like soy cakes.
- Materials for vegetative reproduction and seeds.
- Cooperative Farming: Cooperative farming refers to agricultural methods where farming activities are carried out conjointly to maximise individual profits. Under this type of farming practice, farmers pool their time and money to recoup from the rut they are stuck in. Usually, more than three or four farmers handle cooperative farms and each of them gets a say when it comes to decision-making.
- Subsistence Farming: Under subsistence farming, nearly all the crops or livestock raised are used to sustain the farmer and his family, leaving a little surplus for sale or trade. This type of farming gained popularity in recent times due to people’s inclination towards natural products. Since subsistence farming is not done with a profit motive, selling your farm’s products to anyone means you are no longer a subsistence farmer.
- Commercial Farming: Under commercial agriculture, crops are grown, and livestock is reared to sell the products in the market to make money. This type of farming practice involves a lot of capital investment, as crops are grown in large farms, using modern technologies, agricultural machinery, irrigation methods, and chemical fertilisers. However, there are high doses of modern inputs for better productivity, such as fertilisers, insecticides, pesticides, etc.
- Mixed Farming: This type of farming involves both growing crops and raising livestock. Here, profit is made from about half of the animal products and half of the crops. Farmers practice mixed farming to ensure double income. The key advantage of mixed farming is that in case one form fails the farmer can depend on the other. Modern machinery and tools combined with high-quality seeds and chemical fertilisers are used for mixed farming.
- Pastoral Farming: Pastoral farming is producing livestock instead of growing crops, for example, dairy farming, raising beef cattle, raising sheep for wool, etc. These animals need to be kept in special shelters and are usually fed different types of food that can make them healthier and more efficient at producing different animal products. It is a non-nomadic form of pastoralism in which livestock farmer has ownership over the land used. This gives the livestock farmers a more economic incentive to enhance the land.
- Arable Farming: Arable farming refers to the systematic use of land to grow crops like wheat, maize, barley, etc. To maintain the consistency of the supply of their precious produce, farmers need to monitor how fertile their land is. There are a few disadvantages of arable farming such as- there are no freshwater sources, extreme climatic conditions, pollution, and less nutrition.
- Intensive Farming: Also known as conventional farming, intensive farming is the type of farming that involves using large amounts of labour and capital relative to land area. Intensive agriculture involves investing large amounts of labour and capital necessary for fertilisers, insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides to aid crop growth.
- Extensive Farming: Unlike intensive agriculture, extensive agriculture involves using small amounts of labour and capital in relation to the area of farmed land. In this type of farming, crop yield depends on the natural fertility of the soil, the terrain, the climate, and the availability of water.
- Carbon Farming: As the name suggests, carbon farming is optimising carbon capture on working landscapes, implementing practices that enhance the rate at which carbon dioxide is eliminated from the atmosphere and stored in the plant material and/or soil organic matter. It is synonymous with ‘regenerative agriculture’. Carbon farming practices sequester carbon and/or reduce GHG emissions.
Although there are several ways to farm these days and there isn’t any best choice per se., pick the farming practice that suits you the best.
For more information on the popular farming practices in Australia and the ones that have delivered successful results to most farmers in the country, browse through the KG2 Australia website. We are Australia’s largest independent farmer database enabling farmers and industries to leverage the country’s most comprehensive agribusiness database.