Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter, with over 325,300 employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing as of February 2015.Agriculture and its closely related sectors earn $155 billion-a-year for a 12% share of GDP. Farmers and graziers own 135,997 farms, covering 61% of Australia's landmass. Approximately 64% of all farms across Australia belong to the state, with a further 23% that are still owned by indigenous groups or tribes. Across the country there is a mix of irrigation and dry-land farming. Australia leads the world with 35 million hectares certified organic, which is 8.8% of Australia's agricultural land and Australia now accounts for more than half (51%) of the world's certified organic agriculture hectares. The CSIRO, the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia, has forecast that climate change will cause decreased precipitation over much of Australia and that this will exacerbate existing challenges to water availability and quality for agriculture.
There are three main zones: the high rainfall zone of Tasmania and a narrow coastal zone (used principally for dairying and beef production); wheat, sheep zone (cropping (principally winter crops), and the grazing of sheep (for wool, lamb and mutton) plus beef cattle) and the pastoral zone (characterised by low rainfall, less fertile soils, and large scale pastoral activities involving the grazing of beef cattle and sheep for wool and mutton).An indicator of the viability of agriculture in the state of South Australia is whether the land is within Goyder's Line.
Australia produces a large variety of primary products for export and domestic consumption. The forecast top ten agricultural products by value are listed for the year 2006–07, with production figures from previous years.
|Commodity (in millions of AUD$)||2001-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07|
|Cattle and calves||6,617||5,849||6,345||7,331||7,082||6,517|
|Fruit and nuts||2,333||2,408||2,350||2,640||2,795||2,915|
Cereals, oilseeds and grain legumes are produced on a large scale in Australia for human consumption and livestock feed. Wheat is the cereal with the greatest production in terms of area and value to the Australian economy. Sugarcane, grown in tropical Australia, is also an important crop; however, the unsubsidised industry (while lower-cost than heavily subsidised European and American sugar producers) is struggling to compete with the huge and much more efficient Brazilian sugarcane industry.Listed below is crop production by kilotonnes (five-year average) for the largest crops:
|Crop (kilotonnes)||New South Wales||Victoria||Queensland||Western Australia||South Australia||Tasmania||Total|
Australia produces a wide variety of fruit, nuts and vegetables. The largest crops (>300 kilo tonnes, in 2001-2001) include oranges, apples, bananas, chestnuts,[ citation needed ] potatoes, carrots and tomatoes.
Tropical fruits, including bananas, mangoes and pineapples, fare well in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Australia is one of the few countries that produce licit opium for pharmaceuticals. This industry, centred in Tasmania, is subject to strict controls.
The horticulture industry has traditionally provided Australians with all their fresh fruit and vegetable needs, with a smaller export industry. However, loosened border controls and increasing importers have threatened local industries. Consumer research has repeatedly shown that Australians prefer local produce. However, there is no effective country-of-origin labelling and consumers frequently assume all fresh vegetables and fruit must be Australian.
In 2005 McDonald's Australia Ltd announced it would no longer source all its potatoes for fries from Tasmanian producers and announced a new deal with New Zealand suppliers. Subsequently, Vegetable and Potato Growers Australia (Ltd.) launched a political campaign advocating protectionism.This campaign included a tractor convoy moving from Tasmania to the mainland (by barge) and then a road trip throughout country Victoria and New South Wales culminating at Canberra, the national capital.
Australia has a large wine industry, and the value of wine exports surpassed A$2.3 billion in 2002–2003. Wine regions include the Barossa Valley in South Australia, Sunraysia in Victoria, Margaret River in Western Australia and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. The key wine varieties grown in Australia (by area in 2001-2002) are Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although the Australian wine industry enjoyed a large period of growth during the 1990s, over planting and oversupply led to a large drop in the value of wine, forcing out of business some winemakers, especially those on contracts to large wine-producing companies. At the time, the future for some Australian wine producers seemed uncertain, but by 2015 a national study showed that the industry had recovered and the combined output of grape growing and winemaking were major contributors to the Australian economy's gross outputwhile the associated industry of wine tourism had also expanded. A follow-up report from 2019 demonstrated further consolidation, by which stage wine had become Australia's fifth-largest agricultural export industry with domestic and international sales contributing AU$45.5 billion to gross output.
The beef industry is the largest agricultural enterprise in Australia, and it is the second largest beef exporter, behind Brazil, in the world. All states and territories of Australia support cattle breeding in a wide range of climates. Cattle production is a major industry that covers an area in excess of 200 million hectares. The Australian beef industry is dependent on export markets, with over 60% of Australian beef production exported, primarily to the United States, Korea and Japan.The industry gained an advantage after the discovery of BSE (also known as mad cow disease) in Canada, Japan and the United States, as Australia is free of the disease.
In contrast to breeding systems in other parts of the world, Australian cattle are reared on pasture as the principal source of feed.[ citation needed ] In southern Australia (NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and south-western Western Australia) beef cattle are often reared on smaller properties as part of a mixed farming or grazing operation, but some properties do specialise in producing cattle. The southern calves are typically reared on pasture and sold as weaners, yearlings or as steers at about two years old or older. Artificial insemination and embryo transfer are more commonly used in stud cattle breeding in Australia, but may be used in other herds.
In the Top End, sub-tropical areas and in arid inland regions cattle are bred on native pastures on expansive cattle stations. Anna Creek Station in South Australia, Australia is the world's largest working cattle station.The North Australian Pastoral Company Pty Limited (NAPCO) is now one of Australia's largest beef cattle producers, with a herd of over 180,000 cattle and fourteen cattle stations in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The Australian Agricultural Company (AA Co) manages a cattle herd of more than 585,000 head. Heytesbury Beef Pty Ltd owns and manages over 200,000 head of cattle across eight stations spanning the East Kimberley, Victoria River and Barkly Tablelands regions in Northern Australia. Most cattle from these regions are exported as manufacturing beef or as live animals under 350 kilograms live weight to South-East Asia for fattening in feedlots there.
Prior to European settlement there were no cattle in Australia. The present herd consists principally of British and European breeds (Bos taurus), in the southern regions with Aberdeen Angus and Herefords being the most common. In northern Australia Bos indicus breeds predominate along with their crosses. They were introduced to combine the resistance to cattle ticks and greater tolerance of hot weather.
Despite strong public opposition (a petition carrying 200,000 signatures of people opposed to live export was tabled in parliament)and opposition from the RSPCA because of cruelty, the export of live cattle continues.
Lamb has become an increasingly important product as the sheep industry has moved its focus from wool production to the production of prime lamb. The beef meat industry and the lamb industry are represented by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). Live export of cattle and sheep from Australia to Asia and the Middle East is a large part of Australian meat export. Live export practices came under scrutiny after the carrier Cormo Express carrying 52 000 animals was turned away from Saudi Arabia in 2003 due to suspected cases of scabby mouth. The sheep were eventually given to Eritrea. Media coverage has led to calls from animal rights activists for the live export trade to cease.
There are currently an estimated 2,000 pig producers in Australia, producing 5 million pigs annually (Productivity Commission). Although relatively small on the world stage (0.4% world production), the industry provides a significant positive impact on local, regional, state, and national economies through income generation and employment. The pork industry contributes approximately $970m to Australia's GDP and the supply chain contributes $2.6billion to the GDP. The industry generates over $1.2b of household income, directly employing 6,500 full-time positions, and the supply chain employs 29,000 people. The Australian pork industry is represented by Australian Pork Limited, a producer-run company created by legislation.
Dairy products are Australia's fourth most valuable agricultural export.
Domestic milk markets were heavily regulated until the 1980s, particularly for milk used for domestic fresh milk sales. This protected smaller producers in the northern states who produced exclusively for their local markets. The Kerin plan began the process of deregulation in 1986, with the final price supports being removed in 2000.
Growth in the Australian dairy industry is dependent on expanding export markets. Exports are expected to continue to grow over time, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.
As the Australian dairy industry grows feedlot systems are becoming more popular.
The gross value of production of Australia's fisheries and aquaculture products was $2.3 billion in 2002–03. The Australian aquaculture industry's share of this value has been steadily rising and now represents around 32 per cent. The value of exports of fisheries products in 2002-03 was $1.84 billion. Australia's main seafood export earners include rock lobsters, prawns, tuna and abalone.
Wool is still quite an important product of Australian agriculture.
In 2001 Australian wool production accounted for 9% of world production (Australian Bureau of Statistics Data). However, it dominates the fine quality wool sector, producing 50% of the world's Merino wool. Although sheep are farmed Australia-wide, 36% of the flock is in New South Wales.
Research and development for the industry are led by Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI), a producer owned company. Australian wool is marketed by the Woolmark company. Both companies are held by Australian Wool Services, a company created by legislation.
The industry is export-oriented. Historically, up to 90% of Australian wool was exported. The industry has suffered from a lowering demand for natural fibres, and a decrease in wool prices worldwide.
Animal rights organisations including PETA are currently promoting a boycott of Australian, and all Merino wool, as a protest against the practice of mulesing, a procedure used to prevent the animals from becoming fly blown with maggots.In 2004, due to the worldwide attention, AWI proposed to phase out the practice by the end of year 2010; this promise was retracted in 2009.
Australia also produces considerable amounts of cotton. The majority of the cotton produced is genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate or to actively kill pests through the production of Bt toxin (Bt-cotton). Cotton is generally grown by irrigation.
The shorelines, especially the Great Barrier Reef, are providing motivation to help the continent by using seaweed (algae) to absorb nutrients.Because of the giant number of natural Australian seaweeds, not only could seaweed cultivation be used to help absorb nutrients around the GBR and other Australian shores, cultivation could also help feed a large part of the world. Even the Chinese, who could be considered far more advanced in seaweed cultivation, are interested in the future of Australian seaweeds. Lastly, the GBR itself, because of the delicate corals, has lent itself to utilizing seaweed/algae purposely as a nutrient reduction tool in the form of algae. This has occurred in the form of algae scrubbers, and seaweed cultivators, which are now available for domestic use worldwide.
Olives have been grown in Australia since the early 1800s. 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) and from 2000-2003 passed 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres). By 2014 (Ravetti and Edwards, 2014) there were 2000 plantations, covering over 35,000 hectares (86,000 acres), and producing 93,500 tonnes (92,000 long tons; 103,100 short tons) of olives. 3,000 tonnes (3,000 long tons; 3,300 short tons) used as table olives and around 5–7,000 tonnes (4.9–6,889.4 long tons; 5.5–7,716.2 short tons) exported to the United States, China, the European Union, New Zealand and Japan. Between 2009-2014 Australia imported an average of 31,000 tonnes (31,000 long tons; 34,000 short tons) predominantly from Spain, Italy and Greece. China olive oil consumption is increasing and Chinese investors have begun to buy Australian olive farms. Olive cultivars include Arbequina, Arecuzzo, Barnea, Barouni, Coratina, Correggiola, Del Morocco, Frantoio, Hojiblanca, Jumbo Kalamata, Kalamata, Koroneiki, Leccino, Manzanillo, Pendulino, Picholine, Picual, Sevillano, UC13A6, and Verdale. Manzanillo, Azapa, Nab Tamri and South Australian Verdale for the production of table olives.Olive trees were planted by the warden of the self-funded penal settlement on St Helena Island, Queensland in Moreton Bay. By the mid-90s there were
Because of Australia's large deserts and irregular rainfall, irrigation is necessary for agriculture in some parts of the country. The total gross value of irrigated agricultural production in 2004-05 was A$9,076 million compared to A$9,618 million in 2000–01. The gross value of irrigated agricultural production represents around a quarter (23%) of the gross value of agricultural commodities produced in Australia in 2004–05, on less than 1% of agricultural land.
Of the 12,191 GL of water consumed by agriculture in 2004–05, dairy farming accounted for 18% (2,276 GL), pasture 16% (1,928 GL), cotton 15% (1,822 GL) and sugar 10% (1,269 GL).
Historian F.K. Crowley finds that:
The Country Party, from the 1920s to the 1970s, promulgated its version of agrarianism, which it called "countrymindedness". The goal was to enhance the status of the graziers (operators of big sheep ranches) and small farmers and justified subsidies for them.
The major issues facing agriculture in Australia are drought, water security, low soil fertility, weeds, climate change caused by global warming, biosecurity (biological threats from imported foods and livestock), tariffs on Australian exports in the importing country (particularly in Europe and Japan), subsidies to farmers in other countries (see Doha Development Round), currency fluctuations and price volatility. The wheat industry has also faced the end of the "single desk" marketing system after the Australian Wheat Board was found during the Cole Inquiry to have illegally paid bribes to officials in Iraq.
The agricultural industry is one of the most trade-exposed sectors of the Australian economy.According to Charles McElhorn from the National Farmers Federation a 1% change in the value of Australian dollar is equivalent to a change of $220 million in export earnings.
GM (genetically modified) grains are not allowed in South Australia, where some grain producers have called for the moratorium to be lifted. They argue the GM technology would help them tackle weeds and other pests, and that farmers should be able to choose how they run their enterprises and whether or not they wanted to grow the "premium products" described by Leon Bignell, the South Australian (SA) Agriculture Minister. Producers have also said their GM-free grain is not translating to higher profits. Bignell conceded more work needed to be done to market produce as GM-free but said he was confident producers would see higher financial returns in the near future. In March 2015, Bignell told farmers they should not use GM but should instead rely upon what he called 'God's gifts'. cm or even deeper. You put clay in it when it's needed, you put organic matter where it's needed as well." Bignell said the trials had strengthened his view that South Australia should maintain a moratorium on GM technology, which he said gave the state's produce a "market edge". Bignell also said he believed results of the New Horizons program could be replicated in all grain growing areas of the state. Bignell added that "If you look at GM and the promises around increases of about seven per cent in yields, why would you go for seven per cent when you can get 50 to 100 per cent increases in yield without having to use genetically modified seeds?"He said the "amazing" results of the Government's "New Horizons" soil improvement program "prove", in his view, that grain producers "do not need genetic modification technology". He said that "Instead of using the top five centimetres of the soil, you go down to 50
Australian cuisine refers to the food and cooking practices of Australia and its inhabitants. As a modern nation of large-scale immigration, Australia has a unique blend of culinary contributions and adaptations from various cultures around the world, including Indigenous Australians, Asians, Europeans and Pacific Islanders.
Fodder, a type of animal feed, is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock, such as cattle, rabbits, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. "Fodder" refers particularly to food given to the animals, rather than that which they forage for themselves. Fodder is also called provender and includes hay, straw, silage, compressed and pelleted feeds, oils and mixed rations, and sprouted grains and legumes. Most animal feed is from plants, but some manufacturers add ingredients to processed feeds that are of animal origin.
Pastoral farming is aimed at producing livestock, rather than growing crops. Examples include dairy farming, raising beef cattle, and raising sheep for wool. In contrast, arable farming concentrates on crops rather than livestock. Finally, Mixed farming incorporates livestock and crops on a single farm. Some mixed farmers grow crops purely as fodder for their livestock; some crop farmers grow fodder and sell and in some cases pastoralists. Pastoral farming is a non-nomadic form of pastoralism in which the livestock farmer has some form of ownership of the land used, giving the farmer more economic incentive to improve the land. Unlike other pastoral systems, pastoral farmers are sedentary and do not change locations in search for fresh resources. Rather, pastoral farmers adjust their pastures to fit the needs of their animals. Improvements include drainage, stock tanks, irrigation and sowing clover.
Canada is one of the largest agricultural producers and exporters in the world. As with other developed nations, the proportion of the population and GDP devoted to agriculture fell dramatically over the 20th century but it remains an important element of the Canadian economy. A wide range of agriculture is practised in Canada, from sprawling wheat fields of the prairies to summer produce of the Okanagan valley. In the federal government, overview of Canadian agriculture is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Agriculture is one of the bases of Argentina's economy.
The economy of New South Wales represents a significant proportion of the Australian economy. The economy was valued at $557.9 billion in 2016-17, representing 33.0% of Australia's total GDP.
Pakistan's principal natural resources are arable land and water. Agriculture accounts for about 18.9% of Pakistan's GDP and employs about 42.3% of the labour force. In Pakistan, the most agricultural province is Punjab where wheat and cotton are the most grown. Mango orchards are mostly found in Sindh and Punjab provinces that make Pakistan the world's 4th largest producer of mangoes.
Uganda's favorable soil conditions and climate have contributed to the country's agricultural success. Most areas of Uganda have usually received plenty of rain. In some years, small areas of the southeast and southwest have averaged more than 150 millimeters per month. In the north, there is often a short dry season in December and January. Temperatures vary only a few degrees above or below 20 °C but are moderated by differences in altitude.
Agriculture in Lebanon is the third most productive sector in the country after the tertiary and industrial sectors. It contributes 3.6% to GDP and employs around 4% of the active working population. Main crops include cereals, fruits and vegetables, olives, grapes, and tobacco, along with sheep and goat herding. Mineral resources are limited and are only exploited for domestic consumption. Lebanon, which has a variety of agricultural lands, from the interior plateau of the Beqaa Valley to the narrow valleys leading downward to the sea, enables farmers to grow both European and tropical crops. Tobacco and figs are grown in the south, citrus fruits and bananas along the coast, olives in the north and around the Shouf Mountains, and fruits and vegetables in the Beqaa Valley. More exotic crops include avocados, grown near Byblos, and hashish.
In New Zealand, agriculture is the largest sector of the tradable economy, contributing about two-thirds of exported goods in 2006–7. For the year ended March 2002, agricultural exports were valued at over $14.8 billion. New Zealand is unique in being the only developed country to be totally exposed to the international markets since subsidies, tax concessions and price supports for the agricultural sector were removed in the 1980s. However, as of 2017, the New Zealand Government still provides state investment in infrastructure which supports agriculture.
The role of agriculture in the Bolivian economy in the late 1980s expanded as the collapse of the tin industry forced the country to diversify its productive and export base. Agricultural production as a share of GDP was approximately 23 percent in 1987, compared with 30 percent in 1960 and a low of just under 17 percent in 1979. The recession of the 1980s, along with unfavorable weather conditions, particularly droughts and floods, hampered output. Agriculture employed about 46 percent of the country's labor force in 1987. Most production, with the exception of coca, focused on the domestic market and self-sufficiency in food. Agricultural exports accounted for only about 15 percent of total exports in the late 1980s, depending on weather conditions and commodity prices for agricultural goods, hydrocarbons, and minerals.
Throughout its history, agriculture in Paraguay has been the mainstay of the economy. This trend has continued today and in the late 1980s the agricultural sector generally accounted for 48 percent of the nation's employment, 23 percent of GDP, and 98 percent of export earnings. The sector comprised a strong food and cash crop base, a large livestock subsector including cattle ranching and beef production, and a vibrant timber industry.
Agriculture in Spain is important to the national economy.
Agriculture in South Africa contributes around 10% of formal employment, relatively low compared to other parts of Africa, as well as providing work for casual laborers and contributing around 2.6 percent of GDP for the nation. Due to the aridity of the land, only 13.5 percent can be used for crop production, and only 3 percent is considered high potential land.
The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is a research institute in Tasmania dedicated to research and development of sustainable agricultural industries. Founded in 1996, it is a collaborative effort of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and the Tasmanian Government. TIA is headquartered in Hobart with additional facilities in Launceston, Burnie, Elliot, Forth and Cressy.
A cow–calf operation is a method of raising beef cattle in which a permanent herd of cows is kept by a farmer or rancher to produce calves for later sale. Cow–calf operations are one of the key aspects of the beef industry in the United States and many other countries. In the British Isles, a cow–calf operation may be known as a single-suckler herd. The goal of a cow–calf operation is to produce young beef cattle, which are usually sold. A rancher who works within such a model is often called a "cow–calf operator" in the United States.
Boiling down was the term used in Australia for the process of rendering the fat from animal carcasses to produce tallow. It was a common activity on farms and pastoral properties to produce tallow to be made into soap and candles for domestic use.
Agriculture in Wales has in the past been a major part of the economy of Wales, a largely rural country that forms part of the United Kingdom. Wales is mountainous and has a mild, wet climate. This results in only a small proportion of the land area being suitable for arable cropping, but grass for the grazing of livestock is present in abundance. As a proportion of the national economy, the importance of agriculture has become much reduced; a high proportion of the population now live in the towns and cities in the south of the country and tourism has become an important form of income in the countryside and on the coast. Arable cropping is limited to the flatter parts and elsewhere dairying and livestock farming predominate.
Agriculture is a significant sector in California's economy, producing nearly $50 billion in revenue in 2018. There are more than 400 commodity crops grown across California, including a significant portion of all fruits and nuts for the United States. In 2017, there were 77,100 unique farms and ranches in the state, operating across 25.3 million acres of land. The average farm size was 328 acres, significantly less than the average farm size in the U.S. of 444 acres.
Animal husbandry in Azerbaijan is concerned with animals that are raised for meat, milk, eggs, leather, wool, fur and fibre production for people’s consumption in Azerbaijan.