7111.0 - Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2007-08  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2008   
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November 14, 2008
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEDT)

Rice, sheep and lamb numbers drop to lowest levels since 1920s: ABS

Continuing unfavourable conditions and lack of water kept agricultural production down during 2007-08, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Rice plantings dropped to the lowest levels since 1927, from 20,000 hectares in 2006–07 to 3,000 hectares in 2007–08 while production was down 86% to 23,000 tonnes.

Sheep and lamb numbers - at 79 million head were also at their lowest levels since the 1920s, but plantings of grain sorghum came in at a record high of one million hectares, leading to a tripling in production to 4 million tonnes.

  • Meat cattle were on par with 2006–07 at 25.3 million head.
  • Milk cattle numbers decreased 6% to 2.5 million head.
  • Pig numbers were reported at 2.2 million head, a decrease of 16%.

  • Wheat production was at 13.8 million tonnes, an increase of 28% .
  • Barley production rose by 69% to 7.2 million tonnes, but was still below the average production of the previous 5 years.
  • Oat production was up 107% with 1.5 million tonnes harvested.
  • Cotton lint production declined 44% to 158,000 tonnes, with the area planted to cotton the lowest since 1980-81.

Further details are in Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia (Preliminary) 2007-08(cat. no. 7111.0), available free from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.