7113.0 - Agriculture, Australia, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/11/2000   
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November 3, 2000
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Gross value of agricultural production $28.8 billion

The gross value of agricultural commodities produced in 1998-99 was $28.8 billion, 2 per cent more than 1997-98 according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

The publication Agriculture Australia reports a 6 per cent increase in the gross value of crops ($16.2 billion), a 4 per cent increase in the value of livestock slaughtering and other disposals ($7.2 billion) and a 9 per cent decrease in the value of livestock products ($5.4 billion).

The aggregate turnover of all farm businesses increased slightly in 1998–99 to $27.6 billion, with an average turnover per farm business of $269,000. The level of gross debt increased by 12 per cent to $24.3 billion with average debt per farm business of $237,000 in 1998-99, up from $208,000 in 1997-98.

The majority of people employed in agriculture worked in broadacre industries with the grain-sheep/beef and grain industries accounting for over one quarter (28 per cent) of agricultural employment.

In 1998–99 the area of agricultural land irrigated was 2.3 million hectares, which was less than 1 per cent of the total amount of land used for agriculture. The total area of wheat planted increased by 11 per cent to 11.5 million hectares while production increased by 12 per cent to a near-record 21.5 million tonnes. Conversely, the total area of barley planted fell by 10 per cent to 3.2 million hectares and production fell by 8 per cent to 6.0 million tonnes.

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 (VACP) and summary data on rural exports. In addition, the publication contains a special article on understanding agricultural exports data.

Further details are in Agriculture Australia 1998-99 (cat. no. 7113.0) available from ABS bookshops. A brief overview of the publication can be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.