Decreases in the number of dairy cattle reported on holding in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania drove the national dairy herd numbers down to 2.8 million. Variable seasonal conditions across Victoria and Tasmania as well as continuing dry conditions in New South Wales contributed to poorer pastures, driving the reduction in herd numbers.
Meat cattle numbers were down slightly, driven by decreases in New South Wales (down 5%) and South Australia (down 7%). Queensland continued to account for the majority of the nation’s meat cattle herd (49%) at 12.7 million head.
Decreases in most states and territories drove the national number of sheep and lambs down to 72.6 million. The largest falls in flock size were reported in New South Wales (down 4%) and Western Australia (down 7%) reflecting in part limited feed availability coupled with good market prices and higher turnoff rates.
Increases in pig numbers in Queensland and South Australia (which account for almost half of the Australian herd) drove national numbers up to 2.3 million due to growing domestic demand and decreased feed prices.
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