Total value of agriculture increased to $71 billion
Australian agriculture had a bumper year in 2020-21, with a 17 per cent increase in value to $70.9 billion according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Amanda Clark, ABS Program Manager of Agriculture Statistics, said 2020-21 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 2020-21 rose by 41 per cent compared with the previous year, while the value of total livestock disposals fell 6 per cent.”
“Many farmers reported crop yields being at 'once in a lifetime' levels, with records broken in many regions for key commodities. Compared with the previous year, the value of wheat grew by 99 per cent to $9.9 billion in 2020-21, with production up 120 per cent.” said Ms Clark.
The value of barley rose by 24 per cent to $3.7 billion, with production up 45 per cent on the previous year. The value of canola rose by 114 per cent to $2.9 billion.
With drought-breaking rainfall and improved seasonal conditions, the production and value of irrigated crops such as cotton recovered from recent lows, up 451,300 tonnes to 566,000 tonnes and gross value up $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion in 2020-21.
Results were more mixed for livestock. The value of livestock products was largely steady, with a strong result for eggs (up 28 per cent to $1.1 billion) offsetting falls in wool (down 4 per cent to $2.6 billion) and milk (down 3 per cent to $4.7 billion).
Declines in the value of livestock disposals were largely due to farmers using the improved seasonal conditions and better pastures as an opportunity to rebuild their stocks. This approach saw the beef cattle herd increase 4 per cent to 22.1 million head in 2020-21 compared with the previous year.
Increases were also seen in the sheep flock (up 7 per cent to 68.1 million head) and the dairy herd (up 1 per cent to 2.4 million head).
Further information can be found in Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2020-21; and Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2020-21.
2020-21 Agricultural Census related publications release - Radio Grabs
Amanda Clark, Program Manager, Agricultural Statistics Program
We’d really like to say a big thank you to all the farmers who completed the Agricultural form for us last year. Close to 100,000 farmers gave their time to share valuable insights about their businesses, and this is the information we’re using to build the latest picture of the size and value of the Agricultural sector in Australia.
They key topics covered in the Agricultural Census are production volumes and values of agricultural commodities, and the use of land and water by agricultural businesses. Data from the Agricultural Census is available at Statistical Area level 2, and what this translates to is essentially the regional community level.
There’s lots of great information from the survey, and what I can tell you is that the 20-21 financial year was a very good year for agriculture in Australia. The total value of agriculture production was $71 billion dollars, which is a 17 percent increase on the previous year.
This result was due to above average yields and record production for many broadacre crops like wheat, and barley, and canola. In fact, many farmers reported their crop yields being at 'a once in a lifetime' levels, and records were broken in many regions for Australia’s key commodities.
Irrigated crops definitely benefited from drought-breaking rainfall and from improved seasonal conditions. The value of cotton recovered from recent lows, and they had a close to a 5-fold increase from the previous year, and the value of rice increased by more than 3 times.
Farmers also used the improved seasonal conditions and better pastures as an opportunity to rebuild their stocks, and this saw the beef herd increase by 4 per cent to 22.1 million, the sheep flock increase by 7 per cent to 68.1 million, and the dairy herd rise by 1 per cent to 2.4 million head.
So New South Wales had close to ideal cereal crop conditions, and this resulted in the highest gross value of agriculture and the largest increases of all states and territories, jumping 61 percent to $18 billion. Western Australia produced the highest tonnage of barley, with 4.6 million tonnes, and also, Western Australia had the largest amount of Canola with 1.7 million tonnes.
We found that Queensland accounts for almost half of the nation’s 22 million beef herd, with 10.6 million head of cattle. New South Wales actually accounts for Australia’s largest sheep herd, with 25 million head of sheep and lamps, and this represents 36 percent of the national total.
- State, territory, and regional data for this release is available in the data downloads section of the publications.
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