7111.0 - Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2015   
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21 January 2015
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Favourable weather in the west leads to bumper barley crop

Australian barley and wheat production increased 21 per cent and 6 per cent respectively in 2013-14, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

Favourable winter weather conditions including above average rainfall were experienced in parts of Western Australia and South Australia contributing to improved yields and increased production for barley and wheat.

"WA achieved record barley production up 56 per cent to 3.5 million tonnes, beating the previous record from 2005-06." said Katie Hutt from the ABS "The yield was 2.8 tonnes per hectare which is the highest in 11 years."

"This contributed to an increase in national barley production to 9 million tonnes, another record not seen since 2005-06,

"Comparatively, eastern Australia had a poor growing season in 2013-14, experiencing higher than average temperatures and lower than average rainfall.

"Queensland reported decreases in production and yield for wheat, oats, and sorghum and New South Wales saw decreases in production and yield in wheat, sorghum and canola," said Ms Hutt.

Insufficient or poor pasture resulting from the years' dry conditions in most of Australia drove a reduction in livestock on holding in 2013-14, with the:
  • dairy herd down 4 per cent to 2.7 million head;
  • meat cattle herd down 3 per cent to 25.7 million head; and the
  • sheep and lamb flock down 5 per cent to 71.6 million head, with decreases reported in all states/territories.

Preliminary data from the 2013-14 Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey are released at national, state and territory level. Final data will be released in mid-2015.

Media note:
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.