Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Agriculture >> Crops

The area of land sown to crops has more than doubled in the past 40 years, reflecting improved plant genetics, greater variety in plant species, increased mechanisation and fertiliser use, as well as better control of pests and diseases in Australia. Table 14.11 shows the area of crops in the states and territories of Australia since 1880-81, and table 14.12 is a summary of the area, production and gross value of the principal crops in the most recent years.


14.11 AREA OF CROPS

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
'000 ha

1880-81
245
627
46
846
26
57
-
-
1,846
1890-91
345
822
91
847
28
64
-
-
2,197
1900-01
990
1,260
185
959
81
91
-
-
3,567
1910-11
1,370
1,599
270
1,112
346
116
-
-
4,813
1920-21
1,807
1,817
316
1,308
730
120
-
1
6,099
1930-31
2,756
2,718
463
2,196
1,939
108
1
2
10,184
1940-41
2,580
1,808
702
1,722
1,630
103
-
2
8,546
1949-50
2,295
1,881
832
1,518
1,780
114
-
4
8,424
1959-60
2,888
1,949
1,184
1,780
2,628
130
1
3
10,564
1969-70
4,999
2,212
2,208
2,290
3,912
98
6
2
15,728
1979-80
5,243
2,243
2,334
2,771
5,281
79
2
1
17,954
1990-91
4,073
2,063
2,872
2,933
5,359
75
6
-
17,382
1991-92
3,846
2,039
2,302
2,920
5,216
76
5
-
16,404
1992-93
3,906
2,258
2,316
3,073
5,668
73
4
1
17,297
1993-94
4,209
2,317
2,394
2,940
6,100
78
5
-
18,043
1994-95
3,432
2,296
2,056
2,991
6,182
77
4
-
17,040
1995-96
4,757
2,439
2,495
3,219
6,419
75
4
-
19,409
1996-97
5,589
2,552
2,685
3,279
6,950
73
5
-
21,133
1997-98
5,648
2,565
2,682
3,290
7,328
78
4
-
21,595
1998-99
6,173
2,749
3,014
3,648
7,597
76
7
-
23,264
1999-2000
6,114
3,081
3,130
3,670
7,691
77
6
-
23,769
2000-01
6,723
3,044
2,955
3,982
7,731
79
6
1
24,520
2001-02
6,635
2,958
2,683
4,175
7,525
78
6
-
24,060
2002-03
6,040
3,283
2,263
4,337
7,556
74
7
2
23,562

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

14.12 SELECTED CROPS, Area, production and gross value

Area
Production
Gross value



2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
’000 ha
’000 ha
'000 ha
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
'000 tonnes
$m
$m
$m

Cereals for grain
Barley
3,454
3,707
3,864
6,743
8,280
3,865
1,343
1,725
984
Grain sorghum
758
823
667
1,935
2,021
1,465
279
349
300
Maize
74
83
50
345
454
310
65
90
72
Oats
650
784
911
1,050
1,434
957
138
251
210
Rice
177
144
46
1,643
1,192
438
350
327
153
Wheat
12,141
11,529
11,170
22,108
24,299
10,132
5,130
6,356
2,692
Lupins for grain
1,180
1,139
1,025
1,055
1,215
726
217
304
212
Crops cut for hay
Cereal crops for hay
419
434
505
1,657
1,716
1,581
184
204
332
Non-cereal crops for hay
42
^41
^54
115
124
^166
17
19
32
Other crops
Sugar cane cut for crushing
403
426
448
28,117
31,424
36,995
657
989
1,019
Tobacco
2
^2
2
6
6
6
39
37
41
Cotton lint
536
458
245
666
675
^364
(a)1,305
(a)1,327
(a)^853
Peanuts (in shell)
17
^15
^10
39
^29
^28
28
^21
^22
Soybean
33
32
^6
49
63
^9
18
^22
^3
Canola
1,459
1,332
1,298
1,775
1,756
871
545
675
389
Sunflower
82
79
^47
77
70
^26
27
^27
^19
Orchard fruit
Oranges
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
550
451
599
277
281
337
Apples
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
325
321
326
282
348
381
Pears (excl. Nashi)
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
169
145
136
90
99
80
Peaches
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
74
89
^97
73
76
^84
Other fruit
Bananas
12
13
11
358
313
265
409
415
322
Pineapples
3
3
3
120
119
105
44
40
33
Grapes (bearing)
131
143
143
1,546
1,754
1,497
1,518
1,578
1,371
Vegetables
Carrots
8
8
7
321
331
306
189
199
162
Potatoes
40
38
36
1,302
1,333
1,247
458
485
485
Tomatoes
10
8
7
556
425
364
257
^230
^226
All crops (excl. pastures and grasses)
24,520
24,060
23,562
. .
. .
. .
17,759
20,625
14,527

(a) Includes value of cotton seed.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Cereal grains

In Australia, cereals are divided into autumn-winter-spring growing (winter cereals) and spring-summer-autumn growing (summer cereals). In temperate regions winter cereals such as wheat, oats, barley and rye are often grown in rotation with pastures, such as subterranean clover, medics or lucerne, and with other winter crops such as canola, field peas and lupins. Rice, maize and sorghum are summer cereals, often being grown in rotation with winter cereals in some areas.

Wheat

Wheat is Australia's largest crop. It is produced in all states but primarily on the mainland in a narrow crescent known as the wheat belt. Inland of the Great Dividing Range, the wheat belt stretches in a curve from central Queensland through New South Wales, Victoria and southern South Australia. In Western Australia, the wheat belt continues around the south-west of the state and some way north, along the western side of the continent (map 14.13).

Most of Australia's wheat is exported for human consumption. A small proportion of production is used domestically for human consumption, with lower quality grain being used for domestic stock feed.

New varieties of wheat have enabled it to be grown in more marginal areas in recent years. In particular the development of dual purpose winter wheat varieties which, like oats, allow grazing of the plant up to a few months prior to harvest, have become very popular in some areas.

Severe drought conditions across Australia more than halved wheat production to 10.1 million tonnes in 2002-03 (table 14.14). The main falls occurred in New South Wales where production fell by 69% to 2.5 million tonnes, and Western Australia, where production fell by 48% to 4.0 million tonnes. Graph 14.15 shows variability in wheat yields is a part of life for wheat growers, with dry periods and, less commonly, floods resulting in significant falls in production approximately every ten years over the past 100 years.

14.13 WHEAT FOR GRAIN, Production - 2000-01(a)

Map 14.13: WHEAT FOR GRAIN, Production - 2000-01(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.


14.14 WHEAT FOR GRAIN, Area and production

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

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
2,936
857
1,001
1,438
4,205
3
10,441
1998-99
3,174
949
1,139
1,762
4,515
4
11,543
1999-2000
3,425
1,235
1,096
1,850
4,556
6
12,168
2000-01
3,671
1,143
885
1,976
4,460
7
12,141
2001-02
3,446
1,136
604
1,987
4,350
6
11,529
2002-03
2,995
1,239
514
1,957
4,458
7
11,170

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
5,906
1,503
1,392
2,689
7,725
12
19,227
1998-99
6,563
1,462
1,941
3,310
8,170
18
21,465
1999-2000
8,602
2,642
1,904
2,586
9,004
20
24,757
2000-01
7,867
3,080
1,157
4,162
5,814
26
22,108
2001-02
8,043
2,791
901
4,778
7,760
25
24,299
2002-03
2,495
890
601
2,072
4,047
25
10,132

(a) Includes ACT.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

Graph 14.15: WHEAT PRODUCTION



Oats

Oats are traditionally grown in moist, temperate regions. However, in recent years improved varieties and management practices have enabled oats to be grown over a wider range of soil and climatic conditions. Oats have a high fodder feed value and, with the exception of recently developed dual purpose varieties of wheat, produce a greater bulk of growth than other winter cereals. They need less cultivation, and respond well to superphosphates and nitrogen. Oats have two main uses - as a grain crop, and as a fodder crop. Fodder crops can either be grazed in the initial stages of growth and then locked up for a period prior to harvesting for grain, or else mown and baled for hay or cut for chaff.

The majority of Australian oats harvested for grain is used domestically for stock feed purposes. A small proportion of high quality grain is used for human consumption. A small proportion of grain production is exported for human consumption.

After three years of low plantings, the total area of oats planted in 2002-03 increased by 16% to 911,000 ha (table 14.16) as growers anticipated increased demand and prices for oat grain, especially for stockfeed. Due to the dry conditions production fell by 33% to 957,000 tonnes, the lowest level recorded since 1995. Production in Western Australia was less affected than other states, with a 14% drop in production. The Western Australian crop of 477,000 tonnes represented just under 50% of the national harvest.


14.16 OATS FOR GRAIN, Area and production

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

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
325
172
16
111
305
8
937
1998-99
354
188
18
112
228
8
909
1999-2000
160
138
10
70
199
6
584
2000-01
168
140
13
75
248
7
650
2001-02
231
142
^11
^108
287
6
784
2002-03
308
188
*9
88
314
4
911

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
488
369
13
153
596
15
1,634
1998-99
669
458
15
178
463
14
1,798
1999-2000
284
296
12
78
439
10
1,118
2000-01
246
351
6
117
317
13
1,050
2001-02
320
334
^7
^203
557
12
1,434
2002-03
149
250
^4
70
477
7
957

(a) Includes ACT.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Barley

This cereal contains two main groups of varieties, 2-row and 6-row (the number of rows referring to the number of rows of seed on each stalk). The former is generally, but not exclusively, preferred for malting purposes. Barley is grown principally as a grain crop, although in some areas it is used as a fodder crop for grazing, with grain being subsequently harvested if conditions are suitable. It is often grown as a rotation crop with wheat, oats and pasture. As barley has a short growing period, it may provide quick grazing or timely fodder supplies when other sources are not available. Barley grain may be crushed to meal for stock feed or sold for malting.

The total area of barley planted in 2002-03 increased by 4% to 3,864,000 ha (table 14.17). Despite the increase in plantings, production more than halved to 3,865,000 tonnes due to the extremely dry conditions in the main growing states.


14.17 BARLEY FOR GRAIN, Area and production
NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
701
618
135
1,017
1,036
13
3,521
1998-99
638
568
163
975
811
11
3,167
1999-2000
476
585
130
845
550
9
2,596
2000-01
615
693
112
1,041
983
10
3,454
2001-02
665
700
96
1,151
1,088
7
3,707
2002-03
636
778
108
1,194
1,140
8
3,864

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
1,365
928
205
2,027
1,926
31
6,482
1998-99
1,247
870
320
2,051
1,469
30
5,987
1999-2000
1,040
1,189
254
1,409
1,117
22
5,032
2000-01
1,253
1,670
115
2,320
1,358
26
6,743
2001-02
1,382
1,656
171
2,782
2,263
26
8,280
2002-03
428
478
148
1,440
1,349
21
3,865

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Grain sorghum

The sorghums are summer growing crops which are used in a number of ways: grain sorghum for grain; sweet or fodder sorghum, Sudan grass and Columbus grass for silage, green feed and grazing; and broom millet for brooms and brushware. However, the grain is used primarily as stockfeed and is an important source for supplementing other coarse grains for this purpose.

Grain sorghum is the third biggest cereal crop (in terms of production) despite it only being grown in significant quantities in Queensland and New South Wales. Queensland produced 63% of the total harvest of 1,465,000 tonnes in 2002-03 (table 14.18).


14.18 GRAIN SORGHUM, Area and production

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
123
3
379
-
1
-
507
1998-99
216
**
367
-
*2
-
587
1999-2000
200
*1
419
(a)
*2
(a)
622
2000-01
258
2
494
(a)
2
(a)
758
2001-02
258
**
562
(a)
**
(a)
823
2002-03
255
**
405
(a)
**
(a)
667

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
382
6
691
-
2
-
1,081
1998-99
822
**
1,059
-
*6
-
1,891
1999-2000
804
**
1,308
(a)
*2
(a)
2,116
2000-01
770
4
1,156
(a)
4
(a)
1,935
2001-02
767
*4
1,247
(a)
**
(a)
2,021
2002-03
^531
**
930
(a)
**
(a)
1,465

(a) Data not collected.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Maize

Maize is a summer cereal requiring specific soil and climatic conditions. The majority of maize used for grain is grown in the south-east and Atherton Tablelands regions of Queensland, and the north coast, northern slopes and tablelands, and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area regions in New South Wales. Small amounts are grown for green feed and silage in association with the dairy industry.

In 2002-03 maize grain production decreased by 32% to 310,000 tonnes (table 14.19).


14.19 MAIZE FOR GRAIN, Area and production

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

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
22
1
34
-
-
-
57
1998-99
27
1
37
**
*-
-
64
1999-2000
22
1
59
(b)
*-
(b)
82
2000-01
26
1
47
(b)
*-
(b)
74
2001-02
28
*1
53
(b)
**
(b)
83
2002-03
^21
*1
^28
(b)
-
(b)
50

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
161
10
97
-
3
-
272
1998-99
186
3
145
**
*4
-
338
1999-2000
178
4
224
(b)
*-
(b)
406
2000-01
178
8
159
(b)
*-
(b)
345
2001-02
246
*9
198
(b)
*-
(b)
454
2002-03
^163
*15
^131
(b)
-
(b)
310

(a) Includes NT.
(b) Data not collected.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Rice

Almost all of Australia's rice is grown in New South Wales, with production centred in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Rice production is dependent on supplies of irrigation water and, therefore, is significantly affected by reductions in irrigation water allocations available to farmers.

Due to the drought, rice production fell in 2002-03 by 63% to 438,000 tonnes (table 14.20).


14.20 RICE FOR GRAIN, Area and production

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
146
1
-
-
-
-
147
1998-99
148
1
-
-
-
-
148
1999-2000
131
(a)
(a)
(a)
**
(a)
131
2000-01
175
2
(a)
(a)
*-
(a)
177
2001-02
143
^2
(a)
(a)
-
(a)
144
2002-03
45
**
(a)
(a)
-
(a)
46

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
1,320
4
-
-
-
-
1,324
1998-99
1,357
5
-
-
-
-
1,362
1999-2000
1,084
(a)
(a)
(a)
**
(a)
1,084
2000-01
1,625
18
(a)
(a)
*-
(a)
1,643
2001-02
1,179
*14
(a)
(a)
-
(a)
1,192
2002-03
435
**
(a)
(a)
-
(a)
438

(a) Data not collected.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Vegetables and fruit

Vegetables

Australia produces an extremely wide variety of vegetables, partly as a result of the varied tastes of the cosmopolitan population. Many vegetables, such as spring onions, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes are grown close to major capital cities, taking advantage of proximity to markets and low transport costs. However, the majority of vegetables are produced in the major irrigation areas of each state and territory, where access to land and water are the key drivers of investment.

In 2002-03 the area sown to vegetables was 121,200 ha, a decrease of 8% from the previous year. Potatoes were by far the largest vegetable crop in terms of area and production, accounting for 30% of the total area of vegetables planted in 2002-03 (tables 14.21 and 14.22). Tasmania and South Australia together produced just over 50% of the national potato crop in 2002-03. Tasmania accounted for almost all green pea production, producing 97% of the national crop, or 26,489 tonnes in 2002-03.


14.21 SELECTED VEGETABLES, Area

French and runner beans
Carrots
Onions
Green peas
Lettuces
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Tomatoes
All vegetables
’000 ha
'000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
'000 ha
'000 ha
’000 ha
’000 ha
'000 ha

1997-98
6.6
7.2
5.6
7.0
5.7
42.6
5.9
8.0
130.6
1998-99
5.9
6.5
5.4
6.2
6.2
41.3
7.5
8.5
130.2
1999-2000
6.6
7.0
5.3
5.5
5.2
36.8
9.0
8.3
127.4
2000-01
6.6
8.0
5.0
5.8
5.8
39.6
8.3
9.6
137.1
2001-02
6.6
7.7
5.5
6.0
6.0
37.9
6.5
8.5
131.7
2002-03
7.0
7.4
5.3
5.5
6.1
35.9
6.6
7.3
121.2

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

14.22 SELECTED VEGETABLES, Production

French and runner beans
Carrots
Onions
Green peas
(shelled weight)
Lettuces
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Tomatoes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes
’000 tonnes

1997-98
35.6
266.5
218.9
34.6
129.1
1,371.6
84.8
380.1
1998-99
30.4
256.6
224.0
29.9
131.1
1,326.8
87.6
394.4
1999-2000
34.5
283.3
247.1
30.4
151.9
1,199.6
108.8
413.6
2000-01
32.8
320.9
221.9
26.2
152.7
1,302.1
109.4
556.2
2001-02
33.7
331.1
282.5
28.4
135.0
1,333.2
96.3
425.0
2002-03
34.6
305.7
228.6
27.4
121.5
1,247.3
93.2
364.4

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Fruit (excluding grapes)

A wide variety of fruit is grown in Australia, ranging from pineapples, mangoes and pawpaws in the tropics to pome, stone and berry fruits in temperate regions. Table 14.23 shows the number of trees for the main types of orchard fruit, and the area under cultivation for bananas and pineapples.

The most significant crops in terms of gross value of production are bananas, oranges and apples. Production of bananas, which occurs mainly in coastal Queensland, fell 15% in 2002-03 to 264,800 tonnes. In 2002-03 the gross value of the apple crop increased 9% to $380.6m (table 14.24).


14.23 SELECTED FRUIT, Number of trees(a) and area

Orchard fruit
Area of tropical fruit


Apples
Apricots
Oranges
Peaches
Pears
Plums and prunes
Bananas
Pineapples
All area of fruit and nuts (excluding grapes)
’000 trees
'000 trees
’000 trees
’000 trees
’000 trees
'000 trees
ha
ha
ha

1997-98
5,845
569
6,667
1,498
1,381
1,015
10,478
2,762
144,082
1998-99
5,969
565
6,400
1,509
1,401
1,024
11,405
2,821
145,265
1999-2000
6,115
520
6,945
1,972
1,401
1,420
11,730
2,817
154,049
2000-01
6,455
498
6,669
1,674
1,373
1,328
11,737
2,733
170,545
2001-02
8,070
^411
6,767
1,587
1,312
1,325
12,583
2,963
161,439
2002-03
8,391
^440
7,129
^2,150
1,306
1,470
10,659
2,616
174,123

(a) Refers to trees of bearing age (i.e. four years and over for apples, six years and over for other fruit).

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).

14.24 SELECTED FRUIT, Quantity and value of production

Apples
Apricots
Oranges
Peaches
Pears
Plums and prunes
Bananas
Pineapples

QUANTITY OF PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
308.9
19.9
499.8
64.8
152.9
26.4
223.0
123.0
1998-99
334.4
21.5
445.8
66.0
156.7
22.7
225.2
131.4
1999-2000
319.7
19.9
510.0
86.0
156.4
24.2
256.9
139.3
2000-01
324.6
20.6
550.2
74.1
168.9
31.3
358.4
119.6
2001-02
320.5
^12.4
450.6
88.7
144.9
25.5
313.3
119.3
2002-03
326.1
^19.7
599.5
^97.2
135.9
^33.2
264.8
104.7

GROSS VALUE OF PRODUCTION ($m)

1997-98
272.7
31.0
257.9
53.4
107.8
44.1
230.3
37.3
1998-99
321.1
27.9
296.2
65.5
112.4
42.4
266.3
39.4
1999-2000
273.7
^31.8
276.4
74.3
72.1
43.4
283.8
43.7
2000-01
282.0
29.5
276.8
72.7
90.2
58.5
408.6
44.0
2001-02
348.0
18.1
280.8
75.7
99.4
52.7
415.3
40.1
2002-03
380.6
^24.7
336.7
^84.3
80.3
^64.3
321.6
32.5

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Grapes

Grapes are a temperate crop requiring predominantly winter rainfall and warm to hot summer conditions for ripening. Almost all grape production in Australia depends on irrigation water as a supplement to rainfall. An absence of late-spring frosts is essential if the loss of the developing fruit is to be prevented. Grapes are grown for winemaking, drying, and to a lesser extent, for table use. Some of the better known grape producing areas are the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Riverland, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra in South Australia; Sunraysia and the Yarra Valley in Victoria; the Hunter and Riverina in New South Wales; the Swan Valley and Margaret River in Western Australia; and the Tamar Valley and Coal River Valley in Tasmania.

The gross value of grape production for 2002-03 decreased by 13% from the previous year, to $1,370.8m. Tables 14.25 and 14.26 show the area of vines and the quantity of grapes produced.


14.25 VITICULTURE, Area, production and value

Area
Production of grapes for
Total production(a)



Bearing
Total
Winemaking
Drying
Quantity
Gross value
’000 ha
’000 ha
’000 tonnes fresh weight
’000 tonnes fresh weight
’000 tonnes fresh weight
$m

1997-98
78
99
871
177
1,112
998.2
1998-99
95
123
1,076
119
1,266
1,200.1
1999-2000
111
140
1,111
133
1,311
1,118.2
2000-01
131
148
1,391
90
1,546
1,517.5
2001-02
143
159
1,515
153
1,754
1,577.7
2002-03
143
157
1,330
92
1,497
1,370.8

(a) Includes grapes used for table and other purposes.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0); Australian Wine and Grape Industry (1329.0).

14.26 VITICULTURE, Area and production - 2002-03

Area of vines at harvest
Production of grapes used for


Bearing
Not yet bearing
All vines
Winemaking
Drying
Table and Other
Total
ha
ha
ha
tonnes fresh weight
tonnes fresh weight
tonnes fresh weight
tonnes fresh weight

Red grapes
88,645
6,847
95,491
772,522
8,572
28,400
809,493
White grapes
54,148
7,853
62,001
557,074
83,692
46,680
687,446
Total grapes
142,793
14,700
157,492
1,329,595
92,264
75,080
1,496,939

Source: Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 2003 (1329.0).


More information on grape growing and wine production is provided in Australian wine and grape industries - a decade of growth.


Selected other crops

Oilseeds

The oilseeds industry is a relatively young industry by Australian agricultural standards. The specialist oilseed crops grown include sunflower, soybeans, canola and safflower. Sunflower and soybeans are summer crops while the others are winter crops. In Australia, oilseeds are crushed for their oil, which is used for edible and industrial purposes, and for protein meals for livestock feeds.

The 1990s saw the emergence of canola as the main oilseed crop, with production increasing from around 70,000 tonnes in 1990-91 to a high of 2.5 million tonnes in 1999-2000. Canola production accounted for over 95% of the total Australian oilseed crop of 907,000 tonnes in 2002-03 (table 14.27). Before the emergence of canola, the main specialist oilseed crop was sunflower seed. Peanuts and cotton are also major sources of oil as a by-product to their main outputs, which are food and fibre respectively.


14.27 OILSEEDS, Area and production

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

AREA (’000 ha)

1997-98
310
125
89
67
248
-
839
1998-99
496
222
145
136
537
1
1,538
1999-2000
613
319
143
216
879
*1
2,172
2000-01
569
266
79
157
517
-
1,589
2001-02
585
241
^60
165
394
^1
1,447
2002-03
514
248
^28
214
349
^-
1,355

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1997-98
419
142
82
92
270
-
1,005
1998-99
793
268
166
196
615
1
2,039
1999-2000
968
438
151
249
963
*2
2,770
2000-01
894
383
73
206
353
-
1,910
2001-02
796
349
^52
273
419
^1
1,890
2002-03
201
177
^17
211
299
-
907

(a) Includes ACT.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Cotton

Cotton is grown mainly in inland areas of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, primarily for its fibre (lint), and relies heavily on irrigation water to produce profitable yields. When the cotton is mature, seed cotton is taken to a gin where it is separated (ginned) into cotton lint and cotton seed. The lint is used for yarn while the cotton seed is further processed at an oil mill, where the short fibres (linters) remaining on the cotton seed after ginning are removed. These fibres are too short to make into cloth, but are used for wadding, upholstery and paper. The seeds are then separated into kernels and hulls. The hulls are used for stock feed and as fertiliser, while the kernels are crushed to extract oil. The oilcake residue (crushed kernels) is ground into meal, which is a protein roughage, and is used as a stock feed.

The estimated gross value of cotton lint and cotton seed in 2002-03 was $853m, a 36% decrease from the previous year (table 14.28).


14.28 COTTON LINT, Area, production and value


Area
Quantity
Gross value(a)
’000 ha
’000 tonnes
$m

1997-98
381
564
1,228
1998-99
446
634
1,353
1999-2000
435
698
1,416
2000-01
536
666
1,305
2001-02
458
675
1,327
2002-03
245
364
^853

(a) Includes value of cotton seed.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Sugar

Sugar cane is grown commercially in Australia along the east coast over a distance of some 2,100 kilometres in a number of areas from Maclean in northern New South Wales to Mossman in Queensland. More recently, it has also been grown in Western Australia.

About 90% of production occurs in Queensland (table 14.29), with 75% of the crop grown north of the Tropic of Capricorn in areas where rainfall is reliable and the warm, moist and sunny conditions are ideal for growing sugar cane.


14.29 SUGAR CANE CUT FOR CRUSHING, Area, production and yield

New South Wales
Queensland
Western Australia



Area harvested
Production
Yield
Area harvested
Production
Yield
Area harvested
Production
Yield
’000 ha
’000 tonnes
tonnes/ha
’000 ha
’000 tonnes
tonnes/ha
’000 ha
’000 tonnes
tonnes/ha

1997-98
19
2,416
127.0
394
36,790
93.4
3
326
126.7
1998-99
20
2,555
126.0
379
35,587
93.9
3
392
135.5
1999-2000
20
2,493
123.8
405
35,316
87.2
3
355
123.2
2000-01
18
1,826
102.5
382
25,867
67.7
3
423
122.2
2001-02
^25
^2,886
114.4
398
28,250
70.9
3
288
105.9
2002-03
21
2,362
110.6
423
34,231
80.9
3
401
116.4

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Crops and pastures cut for hay or silage

To counter Australia's seasonal conditions and unreliable rainfall, many farmers use hay and silage as methods of fodder conservation to supplement pasture and other natural sources of stockfeed.

Considerable areas are devoted to fodder crops and sown pastures, which are either used for grazing (as green feed) or harvested and conserved as hay or silage (table 14.30).


14.30 CROPS AND PASTURES CUT FOR HAY OR SILAGE, Area and production

Hay
Silage made

Area
Production
Production
'000 ha
'000 tonnes
'000 tonnes

1998-99
1,568
6,245
2,770
1999-2000
1,373
5,331
2,981
2000-01
1,521
6,433
2,960
2001-02
1,416
5,864
2,966
2002-03
1,299
4,913
2,549

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.