The gross value of New South Wales' agriculture jumped $6.8 billion (or 61%) to $18 billion. The increase was largely driven by a close to ideal cereal crop season experienced in the state. To a lesser extent, both Queensland and Western Australia also recorded increases in gross value of agriculture; up 7% to $14.5 billion and up 14% to $10.2 billion respectively. Victoria had a mixed season which was reflected in a 2% drop in its gross value of agriculture to $17.5 billion, driven by falls in the value of livestock disposals (down 9%) and livestock products (down 4%).
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia
Contains final estimates of gross and local values of production of major agricultural commodities for Australia, states and territories
- The gross value of Australian agriculture increased 17% to $71 billion in 2020-21
- Improved growing conditions drove the gross value of broadacre crops to $23 billion (up 79%)
- The gross value of livestock disposals and livestock products decreased 5% to 31 billion
Value of state agricultural production
Value of crops
Total gross value of crops increased 41% to $40 billion in 2020-21. Improved seasonal conditions in many parts of the country saw increases in the production, and in turn, value of many crops. Notable increases in the production of wheat, barley and canola were observed, particularly in New South Wales which experienced near perfect growing conditions for many cereal crops. Easing of drought conditions also saw water allocations improve for irrigators with dramatic increases in the production and value of cotton as well as a range of other irrigated crops, including fruit and vegetables.
Key crop results for 2020-21:
- $9.9 billion for wheat (up 99% from 2019-20)
- $6.3 billion for fruit and nuts (up 16%)
- $4.8 billion for vegetables (up 14%)
- $3.7 billion for barley (up 24%)
- $2.9 billion for canola (up 114%)
- $2.2 billion for hay (down 15%)
- $1.5 billion for cotton (up 481%)
Livestock disposals and livestock products
The gross value of livestock disposals and livestock products decreased 5% to $31 billion. Many graziers used the improved seasonal conditions and better pastures as an opportunity to rebuild their stocks following several poor seasons.
Key livestock results for 2020-21:
- $13.5 billion for cattle and calves (down 8% from 2019-20)
- $4.3 billion for sheep and lambs (down 10%)
- $2.9 billion for poultry (up 4%)
- $1.5 billion for pigs (up 2%)
- $8.5 billion for livestock products such as wool, milk and eggs, unchanged from 2019-20
Thank you for participating
The ABS thanks all businesses who completed ABS agricultural surveys in 2020 and 2021 either online or using a paper form. Wholesalers, brokers, manufacturers, transport companies, auctioneers and agricultural businesses gave their time to share valuable information about their business operations and we have used that information to build a rich picture of the size and value of the agricultural sector in Australia.
Changes in this and forthcoming issues
The ABS is continuing to monitor potential impacts from natural disasters and COVID-19 across its agricultural collections. While some agricultural businesses noted impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the easing of drought conditions, particularly in eastern states, was associated with improvements in agricultural production in 2020-21 across large numbers of commodities.
For statistics and research products to help understand the impacts of COVID-19 on Australians and the economy see the ABS' Measuring the impacts of COVID-19 page on our website.
Changes to collection outputs
Final estimates for the financial year of the gross and local values of agricultural commodities produced are available each year in this publication (Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia) as well as in a number of other ABS publications. Changes to the content of the ABS' suite of agricultural surveys are made each year to best reflect the highest priority information needs for Australian agriculture and to improve the ease of reporting for agricultural businesses. To assist with comparing estimates published since the 2015-16 reference period, a data item listing is available for download from the "Data downloads" section of this publication.
Estimates of the value of agricultural commodities for substate regions are available for download from the "Data downloads" section of this publication. While these regional estimates may be fit for purpose to inform some decision making, it is noted that the methodology used to produce these estimates was not designed with this level of disaggregated output in mind. Price information is collected at a state and territory level and applied to substate levels which may not be reflective of prices in regional Australia. Further information can be found in the "Methodology" section of this publication.
Future changes to ABS' Agricultural Statistics Program
The ABS’ Agricultural Statistics Program is modernising the way in which it produces official agricultural statistics to allow the ABS to:
- Produce more timely statistics with greater regional detail to facilitate a holistic view of Australian agriculture
- Reduce the reporting burden for farmers and agricultural businesses by maximising the use of alternative data sources
- Publish a consistent set of critical agriculture statistics that form a foundation for understanding Australian agriculture
In this modernised program, a picture of Australian agriculture will be informed by data collected for other purposes (e.g. levies data, earth observations data) and supplemented by data collected from smaller scale surveys.
The ABS has already released a series of experimental outputs using this approach, see the publications Sugarcane, experimental regional estimates using new data sources and methods and Canola, experimental regional estimates using new data sources and methods.
With the increased prevalence of high-quality agricultural data held by government and industry becoming available for broader use, it is time to close the chapter on large scale surveys of Australian farmers and the Agricultural Census will be discontinued.
The 2020-21 Agricultural Census was the last Agricultural Census to be conducted by the ABS. While the ABS will continue to produce official agricultural statistics, the way in which it does so is changing. Further information on how the ABS’ Agricultural Statistics Program is evolving and how data users can be a part of shaping the future program, will be released on the ABS website over the coming weeks.
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, state/territory and ASGS regions - 2020-21
Gross and local value estimates by Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Edition 3 regions
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced by Natural Resource Management regions - 2020-21
Gross and local value estimates by Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions (2016 edition)
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced by Local Government Area - 2020-21
Gross and local value estimates by Local Government Areas (2021 edition)
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced by Murray Darling Basin region - 2020-21
Gross and local value estimates by Murray Darling Basin region
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced – Data item list, 2015-16 to 2020-21
Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced data items collected and published since the 2015-16 reference period.
Previous catalogue number
This release previously used catalogue number 7503.0.