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Extent of cropping

Key Finding

Queensland grew an average of 3.86 million hectares of crops per year for the last 10 years. Crops can be either summer or winter-growing. Every year, the area of winter crops exceeded the area of summer crops.

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Region (select locations to filter information)

Queensland

For the last 10 years, Queensland has grown an average of 3.86 million hectares of crops per year.

Crops can be either summer or winter-growing.

The summer growing-season is generally November to May and the main crops are:

  • sorghum
  • cotton
  • sugarcane.

The winter growing-season is generally June to October. Main winter crops are:

  • wheat
  • barley
  • chickpea.

The area devoted to summer-growing crops peaked in 2015, while winter-growing crops peaked in 2016.

In every year, the area of winter crops exceeds the area of summer crops. On average, summer and winter crops represent, respectively, 45% and 53% of the available cropping land in the state.

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Coastal

For the last 10 years, the Coastal region has grown an average of 320,000 hectares of sugarcane each summer.

The area covered by actively growing sugarcane is reasonably stable from year to year.

Sugarcane grows all year round and its harvest is throughout the winter and spring. For reporting purposes, it is regarded as a summer-growing crop.

Although a wide variety of minor crops are grown throughout this region, reporting is restricted to the sugarcane-growing areas defined by the Queensland Land Use Mapping Program.

More information:

Comet–Nogoa

For the last 10 years, the Comet-Nogoa region has grown an average of 500,000 hectares (ha) of crops per year.

Summer-growing crops peaked in 2019 (320,000ha); winter-growing crops peaked in 2016 (340,000ha).

Neither season is more dominant than the other in terms of area planted in this region.

The relatively small area of summer crops in 2011 (110,000ha) coincided with an unusually wet summer that made it difficult for farmers to establish a mature crop.

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Condamine

For the last 10 years, the Condamine region has grown an average of 1.33 million hectares (ha) of crops per year.

The area of summer-growing crops peaked in 2012 (760,000ha), following a period of wetter-than-normal conditions.

The area of winter-growing crops peaked in 2019 (790,000ha), a winter that turned out to be especially dry, and so some crops eventually failed. This highlights how a crop may be detectable by a satellite-based monitoring method, but not necessarily harvestable.

In 7 out 10 years, the area devoted to winter crops exceeded the area of summer crops.

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North

For the last 10 years, the North region has grown an average of 380,000 hectares (ha) of crops per year.

Summer-growing crops peaked in 2019 (200,000ha); winter-growing crops peaked in 2018 (260,000ha).

In 7 out 10 years, the area devoted to winter crops exceeded the area of summer crops.

The relatively small area of summer crops in 2011 (90,000ha) coincided with an unusually wet summer that made it difficult for farmers to establish a mature crop.

More information:

South

For the last 10 years, the South region has grown an average of 1.32 million hectares (ha) of crops per year.

The area devoted to summer-growing crops peaked in 2017 (470,000ha).

Winter-growing crops peaked in 2016 (1.14 million hectares), largely on the back of a spike in the global price of chickpea.

Every year in this region, the area devoted to winter crops exceeds the area of summer crops. This relates to how irrigated cotton, the dominant summer-growing crop of this region, tends to be grown only in restricted pockets of land.

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Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets

  • GOAL 2: ZERO HUNGER

Cropped area by season (million ha) in Queensland

  • Chart
  • Table
YearSummer Cropped Area (million ha)Winter Cropped Area (milion ha)
20101.851.98
20111.501.62
20121.741.94
20131.531.99
20141.702.00
20151.992.11
20161.942.46
20171.902.13
20181.772.21
20191.822.40

Cropped area by season (million ha) in Condamine

  • Chart
  • Table
YearSummer Cropped Area (million ha)Winter Cropped Area (milion ha)
20100.650.64
20110.720.60
20120.760.65
20130.510.66
20140.560.72
20150.690.70
20160.730.73
20170.620.65
20180.600.70
20190.640.79

Cropped area by season (million ha) in Comet-Nogoa

  • Chart
  • Table
YearSummer Cropped Area (million ha)Winter Cropped Area (milion ha)
20100.270.26
20110.110.19
20120.210.26
20130.200.22
20140.260.23
20150.270.17
20160.290.34
20170.260.28
20180.290.25
20190.320.30

Cropped area by season (million ha) in North

  • Chart
  • Table
YearSummer Cropped Area (million ha)Winter Cropped Area (milion ha)
20100.240.13
20110.090.11
20120.130.15
20130.170.18
20140.200.18
20150.220.18
20160.230.25
20170.200.25
20180.220.26
20190.240.24

Cropped area by season (million ha) in Coastal

  • Chart
  • Table
YearSummer Cropped Area (million ha)
20100.33
20110.26
20120.31
20130.29
20140.34
20150.34
20160.36
20170.34
20180.33
20190.31

Cropped area by season (million ha) in South

  • Chart
  • Table
YearSummer Cropped Area (million ha)Winter Cropped Area (milion ha)
20100.350.95
20110.320.71
20120.330.88
20130.370.93
20140.340.88
20150.461.06
20160.351.14
20170.470.93
20180.321.01
20190.311.07

Download data from Queensland Government data

Metadata

The extent of cropping in 5 regions of Queensland, for the last 10 years. Crops can be either summer- or winter-growing. The summer growing-season is generally November to May, with its main crops being sorghum, cotton, and sugarcane (note that the year of interest for a summer-growing crop is taken from January). The winter growing-season is generally June to October, with its main crops being wheat, barley, and chickpea.  These data are summarised from bi-annual maps of actively growing crops, 2010–2019.  Two main sources of error are: (i) pastures mislabelled as crops; and, (ii) failed crops.