This publication contains estimates of agricultural production dating back to 1861. It aims to provide a broad overview of the movements of key agricultural commodities over time.
Prior to Federation in 1901, these data were collected by each Australian colony and reported back to England. Since Federation, data have been collected by state data collectors, state statistical bodies and, from the early 1900s to present, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Area and production data are available for wheat, oats and barley. Livestock data, including the number of sheep, cattle (meat and milk) and pigs, are also available. Most data are available for state/territory and national levels. The latest series of data added to this publication are estimates obtained from the 2010-11 Agricultural Census.
The estimates contained in this publication provide an overview of the specified agriculture commodities. Data quality detail, such as Relative Standard Errors (RSEs), are not available for earlier data. Also, Australian agricultural data have not always been collected by the ABS, and the quality and comparability of agricultural commodity items, particularly prior to the 1900s, is uncertain. These historical data have been included in order to provide a broad picture of how the agricultural industry has changed over time.
Further detail of the quality of ABS data for each commodity can be found in the Explanatory Notes of the related ABS publications (when available) or within the descriptive text of older publications. Links to related current ABS publications can be found under the Related Information tab or in the Quality Declaration under the Explanatory Notes tab. Where Explanatory Notes or further data quality information are not available for a publication, information may be obtained by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
For further information and a short summary of farming in Australia please visit Year Book Australia, 2012 , Year of the Farmer (Cat. no. 1301.01)
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.