7111.0 - Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/11/2009   
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November 10, 2009
Embargo: 11.30 am (AEDT) 10/11/2009

Some crops recover but livestock continues to fall in 2009: ABS

Improved seasonal conditions saw increases in production of some major broadacre crops in 2008–09, however livestock numbers remained flat or continued their falls of recent years, according to preliminary estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Wheat and barley production increased from recent lows, and although grain sorghum fell from 2007–08's record, production remained at a historically high level. In comparison, while both rice and cotton lint production increased significantly from the previous year, production for these crops remained at historically low levels.

At 71.6 million head, sheep and lamb numbers were at their lowest levels since 1905. This is a further 7% decrease from 76.9 million head in 2007-08. Pig numbers continued their falls of recent years, with an estimated herd size of 2.2 million being the smallest reported since 1978.

  • Wheat production increased by 54% to 20.9 million tonnes.
  • Barley production increased by 7% to 7.7 million tonnes.
  • Oat production decreased by 20% to 1.2 million tonnes.

  • Meat cattle were down slightly at 24.5 million head.
  • Milk cattle numbers remained steady at 2.5 million head in 2008–09.

Further details are in Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia (Preliminary) 2008-09 (cat. no. 7111.0).

Media notes:
  • Call for comment: The ABS is currently calling for comments on the nature and content of its next Agricultural Census, see Agricultural Census: ABS Views on Content and Procedures, 2010-11 (cat. no. 7103.0.80.002) for more information, or phone 1300 075 070 for media inquiries and interview requests.
  • When using our statistics, please cite the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.