Queensland agricultural land audit

The Queensland Agricultural Land Audit identifies land important to current and future production and the constraints to development, highlighting the diversity and importance of Queensland's agricultural industries.

Use AgTrends Spatial to view audit data.

What it covers

The audit includes:

  • maps showing current and potential agricultural land use
  • strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to agricultural development for each region across Queensland
  • information on land uses, infrastructure, biophysical conditions and constraints to agricultural development.

It is a key reference tool to help guide investment in the agricultural sector and inform decision-making to ensure the best future use of the state's agricultural land.

How to use

Land and resource managers, investors and government officers can use the audit to:

  • inform strategic policy, planning and investment decisions. This may include the protection of locally important agricultural areas, investment in infrastructure which supports agriculture (e.g. roads, water supply) or natural disaster planning
  • assist in modelling the impact of certain developments on agricultural land. This may include biophysical information such as soil type, identification of suitable alternative development areas or co-location of compatible land uses
  • drive local and regional economic development opportunities such as increasing market access, demonstrating best management practice or providing certainty to different land use sectors within a region
  • conduct due diligence assessments.

Land classes

The land and soil information has been classified using the Agricultural land class (ALC) scheme.

Adapted from the Agricultural land evaluation guidelines for Queensland, the standard definitions of each class are:

  • Class A: Crop land that is suitable for a wide range of current and potential crops with nil to moderate limitations to production.
  • Class B: Limited crop land that is suitable for a narrow range of current and potential crops due to severe limitations, but is highly suitable for pastures. Land may be suitable for cropping with engineering or agronomic improvements.
  • Class C: Pasture land that is suitable only for improved or native pastures due to limitations which preclude continuous cultivation for crop production. Some areas may tolerate a short period of ground disturbance for pasture establishment.
  • Class D: Non-agricultural land and land not suitable for agricultural uses due to extreme limitations. This may be undisturbed land with significant conservation or catchment values, land that may be unsuitable because of very steep slopes, shallow soils, rock outcrop, poor drainage, salinity, acidic drainage, or is an urbanised area.

Current agricultural land use

Current land use was mapped across the state predominantly using data from the Queensland Land Use Mapping Program (QLUMP).

Potential agricultural land

Biophysical and socio-economic spatial data was combined to map agricultural land potential.

This information can be used by local governments and investors to identify areas where there is potential for increased production and to help plan for the expansion of certain industries at a local scale.

Cropping and horticulture

For cropping and horticulture industries, a multi-layer approach was used to identify the potential area, combining soil types with other biophysical features and business requirements for different land use categories. Biophysical features to consider can include land slope, rainfall and groundwater. Business requirements can include distance from labour and services and availability of water for irrigation.

Native forestry

The potential area for native forestry was based on regional ecosystem mapping that contains known commercial species (e.g. spotted gum) of a potential height, which indicates if it’s of adequate quality to produce commercial quantities of timber.


Annual biomass production was modelled and refined based on tree cover and land condition to show the difference in pasture production for grazing across a region. The suitability of an area to be sown to pastures was based on land types and tree cover.