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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Agriculture

INTRODUCTION

Australian agricultural activities are broad-ranging, varying from extensive pastoral and cropping to intensive livestock and horticultural production. Agriculture in Australia utilises a large proportion of natural resources, including 52% of Australia’s land area and 52% of national water use (in 2009–10).

Most of Australia’s agricultural businesses are engaged in beef cattle farming, dairy cattle farming, sheep farming, grain growing, or a mixture of two or more of these activities.

In recent times, the agricultural commodities with the highest value of production by Australian farmers have been cattle and calf slaughterings, followed by wheat, milk, vegetables, fruit and nuts, sheep and lamb slaughterings, and wool.

Much of this produce is exported, with Australian wool, beef, wheat, and dairy products contributing significantly to global markets.

In this chapter, the major source of statistics for land use, water use, commodity production and livestock numbers is the 2009–10 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the related Vineyards Supplementary Collection, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Information relating to agricultural finance is obtained from the annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). Data from the ABS 2011 Agricultural Census will be released in mid 2012.

In this chapter, the major source of statistics for land use, water use, commodity production and livestock numbers is the 2009–10 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the related Vineyards Supplementary Collection, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Information relating to agricultural finance is obtained from the annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). Data from the 2011 Agricultural Census will be released in mid 2012.

The chapter contains two special articles, Agricultural land and water ownership and Migrant farmers, and an article in the Agriculture industry section, Organic food and farming in Australia.

Related information can be found in chapter 1 GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE, chapter 2 ENVIRONMENT and the feature article, Farming in Australia, produced in recognition of 2012 as the Australian Year of the Farmer.

Information on the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry can be found in chapters 8 LABOUR, 15 INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCE, 25 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY and 26 RESEARCH AND INNOVATION.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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