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7111.0 - Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2005-06  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/05/2007   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


INTRODUCTION

For eastern Australian agricultural areas as a whole, the 2005-06 season saw near average rainfall despite 2005 winter and spring months being wet prior to dry conditions becoming established from December 2005 onwards. There were some noticeable regional variations with a particularly wet winter-spring 2005 period in large cropping areas of South Australia and in parts of Tasmania. However, in western Victoria and southern Queensland, early rain was more than offset by the dry rest of the year.


The western Australian agricultural areas also experienced regional variation in climatic conditions in 2005-06. Rainfall varied from above average in the wheatbelt areas to well below average along the coast.



CROPS

Wheat

The total area sown to wheat for grain in 2005-06 was 12.5 million hectares. The three main growing states were Western Australia (4.9 million hectares), New South Wales (3.4 million hectares) and South Australia (2.1 million hectares).


Production of wheat for grain in 2005-06 was 25.4 million tonnes. In Western Australia, production was reported as 9.4 million tonnes, in New South Wales it was 7.8 million tonnes and in South Australia it was 3.9 million tonnes.


Barley

The total area sown to barley for grain in 2005-06 was 4.4 million hectares. The three main growing states were Western Australia (1.2 million hectares), South Australia (1.2 million hectares) and New South Wales (1.1 million hectares).


Production of barley for grain in 2005-06 was 9.6 million tonnes. Major producing states were South Australia (2.6 million tonnes), Western Australia (2.5 million tonnes) and New South Wales (2.3 million tonnes).


Grain sorghum

The total area sown to sorghum for grain in 2005-06 was 769,000 hectares. In Queensland, the main growing state, the area sown was 443,000 hectares, while in New South Wales it was reported as 322,000 hectares.


Grain sorghum production in 2005-06 was 2.0 million tonnes. Production in Queensland was 1.1 million tonnes, while in New South Wales it was reported as 881,000 tonnes.


Oats

The total area sown to oats for grain in 2005-06 was 936,000 hectares. The three main growing states were New South Wales (409,000 hectares), Western Australia (276,000 hectares) and Victoria (152,000 hectares).


Production of oats for grain in 2005-06 was 1.7 million tonnes. In New South Wales, production was reported as 620,000 tonnes, in Western Australia it was 605,000 tonnes and in Victoria it was 331,000 tonnes.


Other crops

In 2005-06, the total area sown to canola was 979,000 hectares, the area planted to sugar cane for crushing was 407,000 hectares, and the area planted to cotton was 333,000 hectares. The area sown to lupins for grain was 832,000 hectares, and the area sown to rice was 98,800 hectares.


In 2005-06, canola production was 1.4 million tonnes, lupins for grain production was 1.3 million tonnes, and rice production was 973,000 tonnes. The production of sugar cane cut for crushing was 38.2 million tonnes, and the production of cotton lint was 576,000 tonnes.



LIVESTOCK

Milk cattle

Preliminary estimates indicate the number of milk cattle in Australia was 2.8 million head at 30 June 2006. Victoria continued to dominate the dairy industry with a herd of 1.7 million. Respondents in Victoria indicated that numbers there were affected by a slow recovery from drought combined with low milk prices.


Meat cattle

Preliminary estimates indicate the number of meat cattle in Australia was 25.7 million head at 30 June 2006. The dominant states in the industry were Queensland with 11.5 million head and New South Wales with 5.8 million head.


Sheep and lambs

Preliminary estimates indicate the number of sheep and lambs in Australia was 91.9 million head at 30 June 2006. The dominant states in the industry were New South Wales with 31.3 million head, Western Australia with 23.0 million head and Victoria with 18.2 million head. Respondents indicated that there was significant destocking during the year, including on-farm deaths.


The number of lambs marked in Australia was reported as 35.3 million in 2005-06.


Pigs

Preliminary estimates indicate the number of pigs in Australia was 2.7 million head at 30 June 2006. The dominant states in the industry were Queensland with 715,000 head and New South Wales with 660,000 head.


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