SUMMARY OF FINDINGS INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
NUMBER OF AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES
The 2006-07 Agricultural Survey found that the number of agricultural businesses at 30 June 2007 had fallen by 3% to 150,403.
The beef cattle farming industry was the largest, with around 30% of all agricultural businesses. The mixed farming sector (grain-sheep/beef cattle) was the next largest with around 9%, followed by sheep farming with 8%. The Survey also found that there were an estimated 16,050 non-agricultural businesses who undertook some form of agricultural activity during 2006-07.
SIZE OF OPERATIONS
EVAO of operations
The median estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of all agricultural businesses was approximately $80,000 in 2006-07. Around 23% (34,400) had an EVAO below $22,500, while at the other end of the scale, around 10% (15,200) had an EVAO above $499,999.
The majority of agricultural businesses with EVAO below $22,500 were involved in beef cattle farming (15,500) and sheep farming (3,000) while the majority of businesses with EVAO above $499,999 were involved in grain growing (2,700), beef cattle farming (2,300), dairy cattle farming (1,900) and mixed grain-sheep/beef cattle farming (1,400).
On an industry basis, the poultry for meat, mushroom and cotton industries were dominated by businesses with large EVAOs, with around 65%, 63% and 62% respectively, having an EVAO greater than $499,999.
Area of operations
Most agricultural businesses in 2006-07 had holdings between 100 and 499 hectares in size. This group accounted for 46,800 (or 31%) of all agricultural businesses. These businesses were mainly engaged in beef cattle, dairying, sheep or mixed grain/livestock.
Operations under 50 hectares were the second main size group and accounted for 39,000 businesses (or 26%). These were mainly engaged in beef cattle grazing, grape growing, fruit and tree nut growing, vegetable growing and horse farming.
Operations of over 2,499 hectares accounted for 9% (14,100) of all agricultural businesses and were mainly engaged in grazing or grain growing operations.