7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2018-19 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/2020   
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Australian farms and farmers

At 30 June 2019 there were:

  • 89,400 agricultural businesses, up 5% from 2018
  • 384 million hectares of agricultural land, up 2%

In 2018-19, the average farmer was:
    • 58 years of age
    • male (77% of farmers were male), and had
    • 37 years of experience in farming

Image: Graph showing the average age of Australian farmers in 2018-19 by state and gender
Sources of farm income

Farming businesses received most of their income from agricultural production:
    • 80% from agricultural production
    • 14% from off farm employment or business activities
    • 0.7% from grants, government transfers and relief funding

Land use on Australian farms

Most agricultural land was used for agricultural production:
    • 332 million hectares were used for grazing
    • 31 million hectares for crops
    • 813,400 hectares for forestry plantation
    • 21 million hectares was not used for agricultural production, with 57% set aside for conservation/protection purposes.


Drought, bushfires and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Impacts of drought are evident in agricultural activity estimates for the 2018-19 reference year across a number of the ABS' agricultural collections, including Agricultural Commodities, Australia. Many farming areas across Australia experienced drought throughout 2019, with New South Wales and Queensland particularly impacted.

There are no impacts in the 2018-19 estimates from more recent events including the COVID-19 pandemic, and from bushfire activity in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory in late 2019 and early 2020. The ABS is continuing to monitor potential impacts from natural disasters and COVID-19 across its agricultural collections for the 2019-20 reference year and beyond. For more information on the expected economic impacts of the Bushfire and COVID-19, please see the ABS Chief Economist Series paper Measuring natural disasters in the Australian economy.

New ABS Website

The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider if this will affect the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au