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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Agriculture >> Selected other crops

Oilseeds

The oilseeds industry is a relatively young industry by Australian agricultural standards. The specialist oilseed crops grown in Australia include sunflower, soybeans, canola, safflower and linseed. 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 2.5 million tonnes in 1999-2000 (see table 16.22). Canola production accounted for nearly 90% of the total Australian oilseed crop of 2.8 million tonnes in 1999-2000 (table 16.38). Before the emergence of canola, the main specialist oilseed crop was sunflower seed. Peanuts and cotton are also major sources of oil, but as a by-product to their main output.


16.38 OILSEEDS

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
Aust.

AREA (’000 ha)

1994-95(a)
217
95
92
33
104
-
540
1995-96(a)
227
105
57
35
99
-
522
1996-97(b)
247
115
112
42
107
-
622
1997-98(b)
310
125
89
67
248
-
839
1998-99(b)
496
222
145
136
537
1
1,538
1999-2000(b)
613
319
143
216
879
*1
2,172

PRODUCTION (’000 tonnes)

1994-95(a)
147
69
64
30
108
-
417
1995-96(a)
339
143
46
51
117
-
697
1996-97(b)
432
147
120
57
108
-
864
1997-98(b)
419
142
82
92
270
-
1,005
1998-99(b)
793
268
166
196
615
1
2,039
1999-2000(b)
968
438
151
249
963
*2
2,770

(a) Excludes linseed.
(b) Excludes peanuts and cotton seed.

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


Cotton

Cotton is grown mainly in New South Wales and Queensland, primarily for its fibre (lint). 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 quantity and value of seed cotton production have risen significantly over the past five years (table 16.39). The gross value of seed cotton in 1999-2000 was $1.4b, a 5% increase over the previous year.


16.39 COTTON

Seed cotton(a)

Area
Quantity
Gross value
Cotton lint
’000 ha
’000 tonnes
$m
’000 tonnes

1994-95
245
796
851
317
1995-96
315
923
1,003
381
1996-97
378
1,485
1,156
560
1997-98
381
1,519
1,228
564
1998-99
446
1,547
1,353
634
1999-2000
435
1,950
1,416
698

(a) Before ginning.

Source: Agriculture, Australia (7113.0); ABS data available on request, Agricultural Census, Agricultural Commodities Survey.


Sugar

Sugar cane is grown commercially in Australia along the east coast over a distance of some 2,100 km 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 93% of production occurs in Queensland (table 16.40), 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.


16.40 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

1994-95
16
1,825
111.2
347
31,146
89.8
(a)
(a)
(a)
1995-96
18
1,923
107.8
359
33,898
94.6
1
69
69.0
1996-97
18
2,231
124.0
371
36,232
97.6
1
170
164.7
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

(a) Data not collected.

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 natural sources of stockfeed.

Considerable areas of Australia are devoted to fodder crops and pastures, which are either used for grazing (as green feed) or harvested and conserved as hay or silage (table 16.41).


16.41 CROPS AND PASTURES CUT FOR HAY OR SILAGE

Hay
Silage made

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

1996-97
1,284
4,687
1,686
1997-98
1,427
5,295
2,129
1998-99
1,568
6,245
2,770
1999-2000
1,373
5,331
2,981

Source: Agricultural Commodities, Australia (7121.0).


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