Did you know?
• Each year, on average each Australian farmer feeds 600 people.
• Agriculture powers 1.6 million Australian jobs.
• Australian farmers manage 48 per cent of the nation’s landmass.
• In the past decade, our primary industries have led the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
• There are 85,681 Australian agricultural businesses that have an Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) of $40,000 or greater.
• Cattle, wheat and whole milk are our top three commodities by value.
These facts and many more are included in the National Farmers Federation’s (NFF) Food, Fibre & Forestry Facts: A Summary of Australia’s Agriculture Sector publication released last week just in time for National Agriculture Day.
Food, Fibre & Forestry Facts: A Summary of Australia’s Agriculture Sector which can be downloaded here outlines in numbers facts and figures on Australia’s leading agricultural commodities, including beef; sheep, wool, grains, cotton, dairy, pork, rice, dried fruit, sugar and forestry.
Fast facts about Australian agriculture
More than 99% of Australia’s agricultural businesses are Australian owned.
Out of the $58.1 billion worth of food and fibre Australian farmers produced in 2015-16 77 per cent ($44.8 billion) was exported
6.8 million hectares of agricultural land has been set aside by Australian farmers for conservation and protection purposes.
In 2016–17 Australian farmers invested $334 million in research and development through the Rural Research and Development Corporations. This is over and above the $325 million co-contribution made through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Australian farmers are among the most self-sufficient in the world, with government support for Australian farms representing just 1% of farming income. By comparison, in Norway it is 62%, Korea 49%, China 21%, European Union 19% and United States 9%.
Farm facts by commodity
In total, Australian beef cattle farmers produce 2.5 million tonnes of beef and veal each year. Australians eat an average 26kg of beef per person, per year.
Australians consume an average of 45.3kg of chicken meat per person, per year. This not only cements chicken’s position as Australian consumers’ favourite meat, but also makes Australia one of the largest consumers of chicken meat in the world!
In a normal year, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people.
Australia produces about 3% of the world’s cotton but is the fifth largest exporter, behind the USA, India, Brazil, Uzbekistan.
Australian dairy farmers produce 9,539 million litres of whole milk per year with the farmgate value of milk production being $4.3 billion.
On average, each Australian eats 3.08kg of dried fruit per year. Total Australian dried fruit exports in 2015–16 totalled 5,000 tonnes and was valued at $19.4 million.
The Australian forestry, logging and wood manufacturing industry employs 64,300 in the forest products industry. At the end of 2010, 13,067 million tonnes of carbon was held in Australia’s forests and harvested wood products in service and in landfill. Almost all this carbon 12,841 million tonnes – 98% was stored in living forest.
Australia’s grains industry accounts for more than 170,000 jobs across Australia from farm to export dock. About 65% of Australia’s grain is exported, including up to 90% of that grown per annum in
Western Australia and South Australia.
Australians consumed more than 27kg of pig meat per person in 2015–16; ranked second behind poultry. The Australian pig herd is free from many serious viral and bacterial diseases afflicting other pork producing countries.
In 2016–17 there were 772 farmers who harvested rice, a significant increase on the 347 growers from the year prior. Australian rice growers use 50% less water to grow one kilo of rice than the world average.
Australia is the world’s largest exporter of sheepmeat, and is the world’s third largest producer of lamb and mutton. In 2016–17, Australians, on average, ate 9.5 kg of mutton and lamb per person.
The sugar industry directly employs some 16,000 people. The world’s principal sugar exporters in 2015–16 were Brazil, Thailand, Australia and India.
Wool production for 2016–17 is forecast to increase by 4.3%, to 339 million kilograms (greasy) from the estimated 2015–16 production period. The increase is largely the result of excellent seasonal conditions in many areas resulting in higher fleece weights.
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The above information has been reproduced by kind permission of the National Farmers Federation.