SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Despite periods of unfavourable weather in some regions, there were slight increases in production for a range of broadacre crops in 2009-10, including wheat, oats and canola.
Cotton and rice production continued to increase although rice production was still well below pre-2007 levels.
There were small declines in numbers across most of the major livestock categories.
The total area of barley sown for grain in 2009-10 fell by 11% from the previous year to 4.4 million hectares. The largest area of barley sown was in Western Australia with 1.4 million hectares.
Production of barley for grain in 2009-10 fell by 1% to 7.9 million tonnes. The majority of production was in Western Australia (2.6 million tonnes), South Australia (2.1 million tonnes) and Victoria (1.9 million tonnes).
In 2009-10, the total area of canola sown rose by 1% from the previous year to 1.7 million hectares. Canola production rose by 4% to 1.9 million tonnes.
Increases in area planted and production continued for cotton, approaching pre-2008 levels. The area of cotton planted rose by 35% from the previous year to 214,000 hectares. The production of cotton lint rose by 22% to 376,000 tonnes.
Unfavourable weather conditions during the main planting window saw the total area of grain sorghum sown in 2009-10 fall 33% from the previous year to 516,000 hectares. The largest area of sorghum grown was in Queensland (346,000 hectares), down 36% on 2008-09. The area in New South Wales also fell, down 25% to 169,000 hectares.
Production of sorghum for grain in 2009-10 fell 41% to 1.6 million tonnes. Production in Queensland was 975,000 tonnes, while in New South Wales it was 623,000 tonnes.
The area of lupins sown for grain rose 21% from the previous year to 698,000 hectares and production rose by 16% to 823,000 tonnes.
Despite New South Wales and Queensland increasing the area of oats for grain sown in 2009-10, the total area decreased by 1% to 863,000 hectares. This was primarily due to a 13% decrease in Victoria and a 9% decrease in Western Australia.
Total production of oats for grain in 2009-10 rose by 2% to 1.2 million tonnes, despite drought conditions impacting on yields in New South Wales. In Western Australia, production was 506,000 tonnes, in Victoria 297,000 tonnes and in New South Wales 219,000 tonnes.
The area of rice sown rose by 171% from the previous year to 19,000 hectares. Rice production rose by 226% to 198,000 tonnes. New South Wales remained Australia's primary rice producing state.
The area of sugar cane planted for crushing fell by 1% from the previous year to 386,000 hectares. Production of sugar cane cut for crushing fell by 1% to 31.0 million tonnes.
The total area of wheat sown for grain in 2009-10 rose 4% from the previous season to 14.0 million hectares. Western Australia had the largest area with 5.0 million hectares, whilst New South Wales had 4.1 million hectares and South Australia had 2.1 million hectares.
Despite lower yields of wheat for grain in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland compared to 2008-09, total production rose 2% this year to 22.0 million tonnes. As was the case last year, most production took place in Western Australia (8.1 million tonnes), followed by New South Wales (5.3 million tonnes) and South Australia (4.1 million tonnes).
The number of milk cattle in Australia was 2.5 million head at 30 June 2010, a 5% fall from 2008-09. With more than 60% of the national herd, Victoria continued to dominate the dairy industry with a herd of 1.6 million.
The number of meat cattle in Australia was estimated at 24.3 million head at 30 June 2010. A slight increase in cows and heifers contrasted with falls in other meat cattle. The dominant states in the industry were Queensland with 11.3 million head and New South Wales with 5.1 million head, each reported smaller closing stocks than the year before.
Sheep and lambs
The number of sheep and lambs in Australia continued to fall in 2009-10, down to 67.7 million head at 30 June 2010, the lowest number since 1905. The dominant states in the industry were New South Wales with 23.9 million head, Western Australia with 14.7 million head and Victoria with 14.4 million head.
The number of pigs in Australia was 2.3 million head at 30 June 2010. The dominant states in the industry were New South Wales with 603,000 head, Queensland with 557,000 head and Victoria with 516,000 head.