Agriculture’s value up $3.1B
THE Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently published its Agricultural Census data from the 2015-16 financial year.
The data collected in the census relates to a broad range of agricultural businesses, from beef cattle production to broadacre farming and vineyards.
The stats revealed that there are currently 85,681 agricultural businesses in operation in Australia.
The gross value of Australian agriculture increased by $3.1 billion to $56 billion in 2015-16, with all states except Northern Territory showing an increase in total sector value.
Nationally, the gross value of livestock slaughterings and other disposals increased by $1.9 billion to $20.6 billion in 2015-16.
The gross value of crop production also increased (up five per cent) from $26.0 billion in 201415 to $27.3 billion in 2015-16.
The gross value of cattle and calves in Australia has increased by 13pc to $13.1 million in 2015-16, largely driven by higher slaughter returns.
These increases are offset by a 3pc decrease to $15.4 billion for total broadacre crops, reflecting poor cropping conditions prevailing during 2015-16 in southern Australia in particular.
Total size of beef, dairy and sheep herds were down across the board in comparison to 2014-15, driven by dry conditions early in the season that saw many people shed stock, especially in the southern states.
The average size of beef, dairy and sheep herds for the year were 805, 412 and 2857 respectively.
The top three crop types in terms of gross product were wheat ($6.2 billion), fruit, nuts and grapes ($5.6 billion) and vegetables ($3.6 billion).
Average farm size reached 4331ha, which is up 0.3pc since 2014-15.
Australian farming businesses used an average of 107 megalitres of water.