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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Agriculture >> Livestock

Cattle, sheep and pigs are the main livestock grown in Australia and have been present since the earliest days of European settlement. Table 14.41 provides details of livestock numbers from 1861.


14.41 LIVESTOCK

Cattle
Sheep and lambs
Pigs
’000
’000
’000

1861
3,958
20,135
351
1871
4,276
41,594
543
1881
7,527
62,184
816
1891
10,300
97,881
891
1901
8,640
70,603
950
1911
11,745
98,066
1,026
1921
13,500
81,796
674
1931
11,721
110,568
1,072
1941
13,256
122,694
1,797
1951
15,229
115,596
1,134
1961
17,332
152,579
1,615
1971
24,373
177,792
2,590
1981
25,168
134,407
2,430
1991
23,662
163,238
2,531
1992
23,880
148,203
2,570
1993
24,062
138,099
2,646
1994
25,758
132,569
2,775
1995
25,731
120,862
2,653
1996
26,377
121,116
2,526
1997
26,695
120,228
2,555
1998
26,851
117,491
2,768
1999
26,578
115,456
2,626
2000
27,588
118,552
2,511
2001
27,722
110,928
2,748
2002
27,870
106,166
2,940
2003
26,664
99,252
2,658

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0); Historical data available on request.


Cattle

Cattle farming occurs in all states and territories. While dairy cattle are restricted mainly to southern and coastal districts, beef cattle are concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales.

Cattle numbers in Australia increased slowly during the 1960s and 1970s, despite seasonal changes and heavy slaughterings, to a peak of 33.4 million in 1976. Beef cattle production is often combined with cropping, dairying and sheep. In the northern half of Australia, cattle properties and herd sizes are very large, pastures are generally unimproved, fodder crops are rare and beef is usually the only product. The industry is more intensive in the south, with higher stocking rates per hectare, improved pastures and use of fodder crops, use of rotational grazing practices and increased inputs such as fertiliser and animal health products.

Drought conditions in the early-1980s led to a decline in the beef herd until 1984. For the next five years the size of the herd remained relatively stable. Between 1989 and 1998 cattle numbers increased gradually, despite unfavourable weather conditions continuing in many parts of Australia. After a slight decline in 1999, cattle numbers increased to 27.9 million in 2002. Dry conditions over much of the country in 2002-03 has seen cattle numbers fall by 4% to 26.7 million.

Table 14.42 shows the number of cattle by age, sex and purpose, and table 14.43 shows the number of cattle by state and territory.


14.42 CATTLE, By purpose - 30 June

1998(a)
1999(a)
2000
2001
2002
2003
’000
’000
’000
’000
'000
'000

Milk cattle
Cows (in milk and dry)
2,060
2,155
2,171
2,176
2,123
2,050
Other milk cattle
1,015
1,065
969
1,041
1,008
999
Total
3,076
3,220
3,140
3,217
3,131
3,049
Meat cattle
Bulls and bull calves used or intended for service
547
528
518
591
620
570
Other calves under one year
6,026
5,740
5,872
6,083
5,679
5,292
Cows and heifers one year and over
11,783
11,621
12,282
12,007
12,652
12,245
Other cattle one year and over
5,420
5,469
5,774
5,823
5,788
5,508
Total
23,776
23,358
24,448
24,504
24,739
23,615
Total cattle
26,851
26,578
27,588
27,722
27,870
26,664

(a) At 31 March.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


14.43 CATTLE, By state and territory - 30 June

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Aust.(a)
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

1998(b)
6,351
4,142
10,867
1,214
1,973
728
1,567
26,851
1999(b)
6,291
4,125
10,748
1,183
1,931
724
1,567
26,578
2000
5,970
4,264
11,808
1,184
2,165
617
1,571
27,588
2001
6,215
4,405
11,376
1,242
2,128
636
(c)1,707
27,722
2002
6,021
4,412
11,544
1,381
2,104
619
(c)1,777
27,870
2003
5,817
4,388
10,740
1,401
1,945
682
(c)1,683
26,664

(a) Includes ACT.
(b) At 31 March.
(c) Excludes dairy cattle.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Dairying

Dairying is a major Australian agricultural industry. The estimated gross value of dairy production at farm gate prices in 2002-03 was $2,795m (tables 14.6 and 14.44). This represented 9% of the gross value of agricultural production. The number of milk cattle in 2003, at 3 million was 3% less than in 2002 (table 14.42).

Dairy production

Most dairy production occurs in high rainfall coastal fringe areas where climate and natural resources allow production to be based on year-round pasture grazing. This enables efficient, low-cost milk production. With the exception of several inland river schemes, pasture growth generally depends on natural rainfall. Feedlot-based dairying is expanding, although it remains uncommon.

Milk production rose steadily until 1999-2000. Less favourable seasonal conditions and farm exits associated with deregulation of the milk industry saw production decrease by 3% to 10,545 million litres in 2000-01, before recovering to 11,271 million litres in 2001-02. Dry seasonal conditions, limiting the growth of pastures and the availability of fodder crops, has seen milk production fall to 10,326 million litres in 2002-03 (table 14.44).


14.44 WHOLE MILK INTAKE BY FACTORIES, Production, use and value

Market milk sales
by factories
Milk used in the
manufacture of
dairy products
Total
intake
Gross
value
mill. litres
mill. litres
mill. litres
$m

1997-98
1,848
7,591
9,439
2,817
1998-99
1,859
8,319
10,178
2,900
1999-2000
1,842
9,005
10,847
2,845
2000-01
1,920
8,625
10,545
3,053
2001-02
1,886
9,385
11,271
3,717
2002-03
1,925
8,401
10,326
(a)2,795

(a) Excludes NT.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0); Dairy Australia.


Domestic dairy market

Average annual per person milk consumption has stabilised at around 100 litres since the mid-1980s. According to Dairy Australia data for 2002-03, Australians consumed 97 litres of milk, 12.0 kilograms of cheese and 5.4 kilograms of yoghurt per person.

Dairy exports

In 2003-04 Australia exported dairy products valued at $2.1b (1.9% of total merchandise exports). Milk and cream and milk products (excluding butter and cheese) contributed $1.2b while cheese and curd, and butter and other fats and oils derived from milk brought in $737m and $183m respectively.

Sheep

Sheep numbers reached a peak of 180 million in Australia in 1970 (graph 14.48). In general, numbers have fallen since then. Poor market prospects for wool after 1990 had a marked impact on the flock size with sheep numbers falling rapidly until 1995, after which there was a gradual decline until 1999 (tables 14.45 and 14.46). By 30 June 2003, sheep and lambs had fallen to 99.3 million with numbers being severely affected by drought conditions throughout much of the country.

Map 14.47 shows the distribution of sheep and lambs in Australia at 30 June 2001.


14.45 SHEEP AND LAMBS, By state - 30 June

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.(a)
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.

1998(b)
40.8
21.1
11.0
13.1
27.5
3.9
117.5
1999(b)
40.6
21.0
10.6
13.1
26.4
3.8
115.5
2000
43.4
22.7
9.2
13.8
26.1
3.3
118.6
2001
40.9
22.3
8.7
12.6
23.1
3.2
110.9
2002
38.5
21.4
6.8
13.0
23.1
3.4
106.2
2003
33.7
20.4
4.8
13.1
23.9
3.3
99.3

(a) Includes ACT and NT.
(b) At 31 March.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


14.46 SHEEP AND LAMBS - 30 June

1998(a)
1999(a)
2000
2001
2002
2003
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.
mill.

Sheep
87.5
86.0
87.9
83.0
77.8
73.4
Lambs (under 1 year old)
30.0
29.5
30.7
28.0
28.4
25.9
Total
117.5
115.5
118.6
110.9
106.2
99.3

(a) At 31 March.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


14.47 SHEEP AND LAMBS, Distribution - 30 June 2001(a)
Map 14.47: SHEEP AND LAMBS, Distribution - 30 June 2001(a)


(a) This map has been generated using Agricultural Census data at the Statistical Local Area level for 2000-01.

Source: AgStats on GSP (7117.0.30.001) CD-ROM product 1996-97 to 2000-01.


Graph 14.48: SHEEP AND LAMBS



Pigs

Pig farming is a highly intensive industry. The majority of pigs are grown in specially designed sheds which provide a controlled environment conducive to the efficient production of large numbers of animals. The number of pigs decreased by 10% to 2.7 million at 30 June 2003 with the industry largely affected by the increased feed grain costs due to shortages caused by the drought. The number of establishments reporting pigs fell by 12% to 2,900 at 30 June 2003. Recent changes in the Australian pig industry have seen many smaller producers leave the industry and existing producers increase their size of operations in an attempt to remain viable.

Table 14.49 shows New South Wales is the largest producer of pigs, followed by Queensland and Victoria.


14.49 PIGS - 30 June

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.(a)
’000
’000
’000
'000
’000
’000
'000

1998(b)
849
518
648
424
303
24
2,768
1999(b)
778
521
621
406
277
22
2,626
2000
710
523
544
438
276
18
2,511
2001
845
557
597
438
286
22
2,748
2002
833
673
643
410
361
18
2,940
2003
729
555
663
381
309
^19
2,658

(a) Includes NT.
(b) At 31 March.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Poultry

Poultry farming is a highly intensive industry, with the majority of poultry raised in large sheds which provide the birds with a stable environment protected from the elements. The poultry farming industry consists of two streams - meat production and egg production - both being major users of feed grains. Although the industry has grown over recent years, there was a decline in 2001-02 and 2002-03 with poultry numbers falling by 1% to 85.5 million birds at 30 June 2003 (table 14.50).


14.50 POULTRY - 30 June

Chickens(a)
Other poultry


Chickens for egg
production
Meat chickens
(broilers)
Total
chickens
Ducks
Turkeys
Other
poultry
Total all
poultry
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
'000

1998(b)
14,036
75,504
89,540
456
1,268
673
91,937
1999(b)
13,912
77,863
91,775
370
1,331
448
93,924
2000
12,016
72,912
84,928
517
1,360
224
87,029
2001
14,276
76,697
90,973
770
717
437
92,897
2002
12,858
72,144
85,002
567
584
*160
86,313
2003
12,913
70,912
83,825
^694
*772
**244
85,535

(a) Includes breeding stock.
(b) At 31 March.

Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


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