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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Agriculture >> Livestock

The numbers of each of the principal categories of livestock in Australia are shown in table 16.35 at 10-yearly intervals from 1861 to 1991, and then yearly.

16.35 LIVESTOCK NUMBERS(a)


Cattle

’000
Sheep and
lambs

’000

Pigs

’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
(b)23,662
163,238
2,531
1992
(b)23,880
148,203
2,570
1993
(b)24,062
138,099
2,646
1994
(b)25,758
132,569
2,775
1995
(b)25,731
120,862
2,653
1996
(b)26,377
121,116
2,526
1997
(b)26,695
120,228
2,555
1998
(b)26,851
117,491
2,768
1999
(b)26,578
115,456
2,626
2000
(b)27,588
118,552
2,511

(a) Prior to 1943, livestock numbers were recorded at different times of the year in different States. In 2000, the collection period was changed from 31 March to 30 June to better align with other ABS surveys.
(b) Excludes house cows.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Cattle

Cattle farming is carried out 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. Table 16.36 shows the number of cattle by age, sex and purpose.

Cattle numbers in Australia increased slowly during the 1960s and 1970s, despite seasonal changes and heavy slaughtering, 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 because of the more favourable environment, including improved pasture (see map 16.38).

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 gradually increased despite unfavourable weather conditions continuing in many parts of Australia. After a slight decline in 1999, cattle numbers again increased in 2000 to 27.6 million.

Table 16.37 shows the number of cattle by State and Territory.


16.36 CATTLE(a), By Age, Sex and Purpose

1995

’000
1996

’000
1997

’000
1998

’000
1999

’000
2000

'000

Milk cattle
- Cows (in milk and dry)
1,821
1,884
1,977
2,060
2,155
2,171
- Other milk cattle
919
923
982
1,015
1,065
969
- Total
2,740
2,808
2,958
3,076
3,220
3,140
Meat cattle
- Bulls used or intended for service
555
553
551
547
528
518
- Cows and heifers (1 year and over)
11,213
11,667
11,879
11,783
11,621
12,282
- Calves under 1 year
5,806
5,768
6,029
6,026
5,740
5,872
- Other cattle (1 year and over)
5,418
5,581
5,278
5,420
5,469
5,774
- Total
22,991
23,569
23,736
23,776
23,358
24,448
Total all cattle
25,731
26,377
26,695
26,851
26,578
27,588

(a) Excludes house cows.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


16.37 CATTLE(a), By State/Territory

NSW

’000
Vic.

’000
Qld

’000
SA

’000
WA

’000
Tas.

’000
NT

’000
Aust.(b)

’000

1995
6,236
4,280
9,974
1,216
1,899
693
1,421
25,731
1996
6,390
4,396
10,214
1,219
1,924
718
1,503
26,377
1997
6,511
4,411
10,415
1,181
1,909
725
1,530
26,695
1998
6,351
4,142
10,867
1,214
1,973
728
1,567
26,851
1999
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

(a) Excludes house cows.
(b) Includes the Australian Capital Territory.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


16.38 CATTLE FOR ALL PURPOSES, Excluding House Cows - 31 March 1997

Image

(a) This map has been generated using small area data from the 1996-97 Agricultural Census.
Source: AgStats (7117.0).


Dairying

Dairying is a major Australian agricultural industry. The estimate of the gross value of dairy production at farm gate prices in 1999-2000 was $2.8b (table 16.39). This represented 9% of the gross value of agricultural production in Australia and placed dairy production third behind beef and wheat. Table 16.36 shows that the number of milk cattle in 2000, at 3.1 million, was 2% less than in 1999.

The entry of the United Kingdom, Australia's then largest market, into the European Union in 1973 forced the Australian dairy industry to become more internationally competitive and to develop new export trade links.


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 encourages 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 in Australia. However, the use of supplementary feed, such as grains, has become more common throughout the industry in recent years.

While seasonal conditions continue to have some influence on yearly output, Australian milk production has risen steadily over recent years and in 1999-2000 was 10.8 billion litres (table 16.39), an increase of 7% over the previous year.


16.39 WHOLE MILK, Production, Use and Gross Value
Whole milk intake by factories

Year
Market milk sales
by factories

mill. litres
Milk used in the manufacture
of dairy products

mill. litres
Total intake

mill. litres
Gross value

$m

1994-95
1,893
6,313
8,206
2,419
1995-96
1,905
6,810
8,715
2,848
1996-97
1,920
7,116
9,036
2,809
1997-98
1,918
7,521
9,439
2,817
1998-99
1,930
8,248
10,178
2,900
1999-2000
1,934
8,913
10,847
2,845

Source: Australian Dairy Corporation; Agriculture, Australia (7113.0).


Domestic dairy market

Average annual per capita milk consumption by Australians has stabilised at around 100 litres since the mid-1980s. However, there have been substantial changes in the types of fresh milk consumed, with fat-reduced and modified milks taking an increasing share of overall market milk sales. In 1998-99, Australians consumed 10.7kg of cheese per person, the same as in 1997-98. Per capita milk consumption showed a slight decrease from 103.0 litres in 1997-98 to 102.4 litres in 1998-99 (see table 16.52).


Sheep

Sheep numbers reached a peak of 180 million in Australia in 1970. 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. Improvements in wool prices and better returns for fat lambs saw an increase in confidence in the industry, with sheep and lamb numbers up 3% in 2000 to 118.6 million (tables 16.40 and 16.41).

Map 16.42 shows the distribution of sheep and lambs in Australia at 31 March 1997.


16.40 SHEEP AND LAMBS, By State

NSW

mill.
Vic.

mill.
Qld

mill.
SA

mill.
WA

mill.
Tas.

mill.
Aust.(a)

mill.

1995
40.5
21.4
11.6
13.2
30.2
3.9
120.9
1996
41.1
22.0
10.7
13.6
29.8
3.9
121.1
1997
42.4
22.3
10.5
13.1
27.8
4.0
120.2
1998
40.8
21.1
11.0
13.1
27.5
3.9
117.5
1999
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

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


16.41 SHEEP AND LAMBS - 1995 to 2000

1995

mill.
1996

mill.
1997

mill.
1998

mill.
1999

mill.
2000

mill.

Sheep (1 year and over)
- Breeding ewes
(a)
57.2
57.4
55.7
55.6
54.8
- Other sheep (b)
94.0
34.5
32.4
31.8
30.4
33.1
Lambs (under 1 year)
26.8
29.4
30.5
30.0
29.5
30.7
Total sheep and lambs
120.9
121.1
120.2
117.5
115.5
118.6

(a) Not separately collected.
(b) Includes rams, wethers and non-breeding ewes.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


16.42 SHEEP AND LAMBS, Total Number - 31 March 1997

Image

(a) This map has been generated using small area data from the 1996-97 Agricultural Census.
Source: AgStats (7117.0).


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 numbers of pigs decreased by 4% to 2.5 million in 1999-2000, while the number of establishments classified to pig farming fell slightly to 3,400. Recent adjustments 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.

As table 16.43 shows, New South Wales is the largest producer of pigs, followed by Queensland and Victoria.


16.43 PIGS

NSW

’000
Vic.

’000
Qld

’000
SA

’000
WA

’000
Tas.

’000
Aust.(a)

’000

1995
791
439
644
423
316
38
2,653
1996
710
458
603
412
314
26
2,526
1997
729
485
600
417
297
24
2,555
1998
849
518
648
424
303
24
2,768
1999
778
521
621
406
277
22
2,626
2000
710
523
544
438
276
18
2,511

(a) Includes the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

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 2000 with poultry numbers falling by 7% (table 16.44).

16.44 POULTRY

Chickens(a)


Other poultry(c)


Chickens for egg production

’000
Meat chickens (broilers)(b)

’000
Total
chickens

’000
Ducks

’000
Turkeys

’000
Other
poultry

’000
Total
all poultry

’000

1995(d)
11,148
54,445
65,593
(e)
(e)
2,088
67,682
1996
13,413
62,331
75,744
411
1,222
1,040
78,417
1997
14,059
67,373
81,432
390
1,211
909
83,942
1998
14,036
75,504
89,540
456
1,268
673
91,937
1999
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

(a) Includes breeding stock.
(b) Excludes meat strain chickens in Tasmania.
(c) Excludes turkeys in South Australia.
(d) Excludes other poultry in South Australia.
(e) Not collected.

Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0); ABS data available on request, Poultry and Game Birds Slaughtered Collection.


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