7113.0 - Agriculture, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/10/2001   
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October 4, 2001
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Gross value of agricultural production up to $30.2 billion

The gross value of agricultural commodities produced in 1999-2000 increased by 5 per cent from the previous year to $30.2 billion (b), according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Increases in the gross values of crops ($16.9b, up 4 per cent on the previous year) and livestock slaughterings and other disposals ($7.9b, up 9 per cent) were partially offset by a slight fall in the gross value of livestock products (down 1 per cent to $5.4b).

The aggregate turnover of all farm businesses increased slightly to $28.5 billion, with an average turnover per farm business of $275,000. The level of gross debt increased by 8 per cent to $26.2 billion, while average debt per farm business increased from $237,000 in 1998-99 to $252,000. Around 20 per cent of farm businesses in 1999-2000 reported they were debt free.

The largest employing agricultural industries were the mixed grain-sheep/beef industry, the grain industry and the fruit industry. Combined, these three accounted for 39 per cent of total agricultural employment.

The total area of wheat planted increased by 5 per cent to 12.2 million hectares while production increased by 15 per cent to a record 24.8 million tonnes. Conversely, the total area of barley planted fell by 18 per cent to 2.6 million hectares and production fell by 16 per cent to 5.0 million tonnes.

The area of agricultural land irrigated was 2.4 million hectares, less than 1 per cent of the total amount of land used for agriculture.

Farmers planted 43.4 million trees and shrubs. Of these, 28.3 million were planted for purposes including; nature conservation, the provision of shade or windbreaks and for producing bush foods or oils etc, while the remainder (some 15.0 million) were planted for timber or pulp production.

Agriculture Australia contains a wealth of detailed statistics on crops, livestock, livestock products and other farm characteristics. Also included are statistics on the financial performance of agricultural businesses, the value of agricultural commodities produced, land management practices and summary data on rural exports. In addition, the publication contains a special article on the wool industry in Australia.

Further details are in Agriculture Australia 1999-2000 (cat. no. 7113.0). If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.