2016-17 saw continued re-stocking of the beef herd and increases to sheep and pigs while Victorian and New South Wales dairy herds continue to decrease.
Good seasonal conditions in 2016-17 led to readily available pasture and the continuation of the restocking of the beef herd. The herd increased by 6% (up 1.3 million head) with a 1% increase in the number of businesses reporting beef cattle.
Broad price and demand issues continued to affect dairy herd and farm numbers in 2016-17, with a 3% fall in Cows in Milk & Dry (down 41,300 head), and Total Dairy down 2% (down by 59,300 head). The number of businesses reporting dairy also fell, down 7% from 7,300 reported in 2015-16 to 6,700.
Good seasonal conditions in 2016-17 led to good lambing rates and retention of sheep have contributed to a rise in sheep and lamb numbers. The national sheep and lamb flock increased 7% (up 4.6 million head) with a 2% increase in the number of businesses reporting sheep and lambs.
The total pig herd increased 8% nationally in 2016-17 reflecting continued demand for pork products in Australia. Increases to herds were seen in most key producing states, with Victoria and Queensland up 10% and 16%. Both of these states contribute approximately 50% to the national herd.
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