7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/05/2018   
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21 May 2018
Embargo: 11.30am (Canberra Time)
Bumper crop production for 2016-17

Australian agriculture had a bumper year in 2016-17, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which showed a 9 per cent increase in value to $60.8 billion.

ABS Director of Environment and Agriculture Statistics, Lauren Binns, said the data confirmed that 2016-17 was a good year for agriculture with above average yields and record production for many broadacre crops such as wheat, barley and canola.

"Total crop values in 2016-17 rose by one fifth (20 per cent) compared with the previous year, while total livestock values were steady overall," said Ms Binns.

Many farmers reported crop yields being at 'once in a lifetime' levels, with records broken in most states for key commodities. Compared with the previous year, the value of wheat grew by nearly one fifth (19 per cent) to $7.3 billion in 2016-17, with production up by 43 per cent.

The value of barley rose by 17 per cent to $2,658 million with production up by half on the previous year. The value of canola, meanwhile, rose by nearly two thirds (63 per cent) to $2,412 million.

Sugarcane was another star performer. Strong export demand and good prices for sugar resulted in an increase in value of more than one quarter (27 per cent) to $1,624 million in 2016-17.

Results were more mixed for livestock. The value of livestock products was largely steady with a strong result for wool (up 17 per cent to $3.5 billion) offsetting falls in milk (down 14 per cent to $3.7 billion).

Declines in the value of livestock disposals were largely due to re-stocking. For example, the beef cattle herd increased 6 per cent to 23.6 million head in 2016-17 compared with the previous year, although there was a continuing decline in the dairy herd (-2 per cent) to 2.6 million head.

Image: Gross value of Australia's agricultural production

Gross value of Australia's agricultural production: $60.8 billion in 2016-17 (up 9 per cent on 2015-16).

More information is available in publications Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, 2016-17 (cat. no 7503.0) and Agricultural Commodities, 2016-17 (cat. no. 7121.0) available for free download from the ABS website.

Media note:

Media contact: For more information and interview opportunities, phone 1300 175 070 or email media@abs.gov.au