Agriculture in Australia

Last updated

Climate map of Australia, based on Koppen classification.
Equatorial Tropical Subtropical
Desert Grassland Temperate Australia-climate-map MJC01.png
Climate map of Australia, based on Köppen classification.
  Equatorial  Tropical  Subtropical
  Desert  Grassland  Temperate
Adults employed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries as a percentage of the adult population in Australia based upon the 2011 census, divided geographically by statistical local area Australian Census 2011 demographic map - Australia by SLA - BCP field 7334 Agriculture forestry and fishing Total.svg
Adults employed in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries as a percentage of the adult population in Australia based upon the 2011 census, divided geographically by statistical local area

Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter, with over 325,300 employed in Agriculture, forestry and fishing as of February 2015. [1] 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. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4]

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Irrigation in Australia

Irrigation is a widespread practice required in many areas of Australia, the driest inhabited continent, to supplement low rainfall with water from other sources to assist in growing crops and pasture. Overuse or poor management of irrigation is held responsible by some for environmental problems such as soil salinity and loss of habitat for native flora and fauna.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an independent Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. Its chief role is to improve the economic and social performance of industry for the benefit of the community.


A density-equalising map of organic agriculture in Australia based on certified organic hectares. Australia accounts for more than half of the world's certified organic hectares. PaullHennig.2018.OrganicHectaresMap.jpg
A density-equalising map of organic agriculture in Australia based on certified organic hectares. Australia accounts for more than half of the world's certified organic hectares.
Murray Grey beef cows and calves Murray Grey cows and calves.JPG
Murray Grey beef cows and calves

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). [6] An indicator of the viability of agriculture in the state of South Australia is whether the land is within Goyder's Line.

Tasmania island state of Australia

Tasmania is an island state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Australian mainland, separated by Bass Strait. The state encompasses the main island of Tasmania, the 26th-largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands. The state has a population of around 526,700 as of March 2018. Just over forty percent of the population resides in the Greater Hobart precinct, which forms the metropolitan area of the state capital and largest city, Hobart.

Dairy business enterprise established for the processing of animal milk

A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing of animal milk – mostly from cows or goats, but also from buffaloes, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is typically located on a dedicated dairy farm or in a section of a multi-purpose farm that is concerned with the harvesting of milk.

Sheep Domesticated ruminant bred for meat, wool and milk

Domestic sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like most ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name sheep applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. An adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe, an intact male as a ram or occasionally a tup, a castrated male as a wether, and a younger sheep as a lamb.

Major agricultural products

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. [7]

Primary production The synthesis of organic compounds from carbon dioxide by biological organisms

In ecology, primary production is the synthesis of organic compounds from atmospheric or aqueous carbon dioxide. It principally occurs through the process of photosynthesis, which uses light as its source of energy, but it also occurs through chemosynthesis, which uses the oxidation or reduction of inorganic chemical compounds as its source of energy. Almost all life on Earth relies directly or indirectly on primary production. The organisms responsible for primary production are known as primary producers or autotrophs, and form the base of the food chain. In terrestrial ecoregions, these are mainly plants, while in aquatic ecoregions algae predominate in this role. Ecologists distinguish primary production as either net or gross, the former accounting for losses to processes such as cellular respiration, the latter not.

Commodity (in millions of AUD$)2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-062006-07
Cattle and calves6,6175,8496,3457,3317,0826,517
Wheat 6,3562,6925,6364,3205,9056,026
Milk 3,7172,7952,8083,1943,2683,245
Fruit and nuts 2,3332,4082,3502,6402,7952,915
Vegetables 2,2692,1262,3562,4902,6012,715
Wool 2,7133,3182,3972,1962,1872,138
Barley 1,7259841,7501,2401,7441,624
Poultry 1,1751,2731,2641,3581,4161,461
Lamb 1,1811,1611,3181,3271,4251,348
Sugar cane 9891,0198549681,0371,208


Sunflower crop on the Darling Downs, Queensland. Sunflower crop on the Darling Downs, Queensland.jpg
Sunflower crop on the Darling Downs, Queensland.
Australian cereals quarterly exports ($Millions) since 1969. ABS-5302.0-BalancePaymentsInternationalInvestmentPositionAustralia-GoodsCredits-Original Quarter-CerealGrainsCerealPreparations-A3533924R.svg
Australian cereals quarterly exports ($Millions) since 1969.

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. [8] Listed below is crop production by kilotonnes (five year average) for the largest crops:

Cereal Grass of which the fruits are used as grain, or said fruits

A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa (Amaranthaceae) and chia (Lamiaceae), are referred to as pseudocereals.

Grain small, hard, dry seed used as food; may be ground into flour

A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.

Legume Plant in the family Fabaceae

A legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae, or the fruit or seed of such a plant. Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for human consumption, for livestock forage and silage, and as soil-enhancing green manure. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind. Legumes produce a botanically unique type of fruit – a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is also applied to a number of other fruit types, such as that of vanilla and of the radish.

Crop (kilotonnes) New South Wales Victoria Queensland Western Australia South Australia Tasmania Total
Wheat 671421731301695933822320552
Barley 10701173202151120255981
Sorghum 739311403001885
Cottonseed 663011403001806
Canola 637312153022511706
Oats 360420758813781520
Lupins 140300105010301323
Field peas 201660471901424
Maize 1908171600375
Chickpeas 8620562950196
Lentils 26802560128
Broad beans 426810140125
Sunflower seed 46065001112


Potato farming in rural Victoria. Potato field through fence - Thorpdale.JPG
Potato farming in rural Victoria.

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.

Fruit part of a flowering plant

In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering.

Nut (fruit) edible seed (with or without the rest of the fruit)

A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context "nut" implies that the shell does not open to release the seed (indehiscent). The translation of "nut" in certain languages frequently requires paraphrases, as the word is ambiguous.

Vegetable edible plant or part of a plant, involved in cooking (opposed to Q3314483)

Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds. The alternate definition of the term vegetable is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits, nuts, and cereal grains, but include fruits from others such as tomatoes and courgettes and seeds such as pulses.

Tropical fruits, including bananas, mangoes and pineapples, fare well in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Mango fruit, use Q3919027 for the species; Q161807 for the genus

Mangoes are juicy stone fruit (drupe) from numerous species of tropical trees belonging to the flowering plant genus Mangifera, cultivated mostly for their edible fruit.

Pineapple species of plant

The pineapple is a tropical plant with an edible fruit, also called pineapples, and the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae.

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. [9] 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.


Grape vines in Mildura, Victoria during December 2006. Mildura vines.jpg
Grape vines in Mildura, Victoria during December 2006.

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 over supply have led to a large drop in the value of wine, forcing some wine makers, especially those on contracts to large wine producing companies, out of business. The future for some Australian wine producers is now uncertain.[ citation needed ]

Australian meat quarterly exports ($Millions) since 1969. ABS-5302.0-BalancePaymentsInternationalInvestmentPositionAustralia-GoodsCredits-Original Quarter-MeatMeatPreparations-A3533725X.svg
Australian meat quarterly exports ($Millions) since 1969.

Animal products

Beef industry

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. [10] 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.

Grass-fed cattle offered for sale at an auction. Cattle sale 1.JPG
Grass-fed cattle offered for sale at an auction.

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. [11] Artificial insemination and embryo transfer are more commonly used in stud cattle breeding in Australia, but may be used in other herds. [12]

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. [13] 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. [14] The Australian Agricultural Company (AA Co) manages a cattle herd of more than 585,000 head. [15] 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. [16] 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. [17]

Despite strong public opposition (a petition carrying 200,000 signatures of people opposed to live export was tabled in parliament [18] )and opposition from the RSPCA because of cruelty, the export of live cattle continues. [19]

Prime lamb competition, New South Wales Prime lambs.JPG
Prime lamb competition, New South Wales

Lamb meat industry

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.

Pork industry

The number of pigs slaughtered (thousands) monthly in Australia since 1972 ABS-7218.0.55.001-LivestockMeatAustralia-LivestockSlaughtered Pigs-AllSeries-NumberSlaughtered-Pigs-TotalState-A3484139K.svg
The number of pigs slaughtered (thousands) monthly in Australia since 1972

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.


An 80-stand rotary dairy that is fully computerised and records milk production. Dairy NSW.JPG
An 80-stand rotary dairy that is fully computerised and records milk production.

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. [20]

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. [21] [22]


Australian wool and sheepskin quarterly exports ($Millions) since 1969. ABS-5302.0-BalancePaymentsInternationalInvestmentPositionAustralia-GoodsCredits-Original Quarter-WoolSheepskins-A3533727C.svg
Australian wool and sheepskin quarterly exports ($Millions) since 1969.

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.


A sheep being shorn in Western Australia Sheep shearing.jpg
A sheep being shorn in Western Australia

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. [23] 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. [24]


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. [25] Because of the giant number of natural Australian seaweeds, [26] 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. [27] [28] [29] Even the Chinese, who could be considered far more advanced in seaweed cultivation, are interested in the future of Australian seaweeds. [30] Lastly, the GBR itself, because of the delicate corals, [31] has lent itself to utilizing seaweed/algae purposely as a nutrient reduction tool in the form of algae. [32] 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. [33] Olive trees were planted by the warden of the self-funded penal settlement on St Helena Island, Queensland in Moreton Bay. [34] By the mid-90s there were 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. [35] China olive oil consumption is increasing and Chinese investors have begun to buy Australian olive farms. [36] [37] 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. [38]

Importance of irrigation

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. [39]

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). [39]

Issues facing Australian agriculture

Political values

Historian F.K. Crowley finds that:

Australian farmers and their spokesman have always considered that life on the land is inherently more virtuous, more healthy, more important and more productive, than living in the towns and cities.The farmers complained that something was wrong with an electoral system which produced parliamentarians who spent money beautifying vampire-cities instead of developing the interior. [40]

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. [41]

The decline in farm employment (thousands of persons) since 1959 ABS-1364.0.15.003-ModellersDatabase-NifLabourMarket SeasonallyAdjusted-Value-FarmEmployment-A2454516A.svg
The decline in farm employment (thousands of persons) since 1959

Technical, environmental and economic issues

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. [42] 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.

Genetic modification

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'. [43] 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 50cm 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?" [44]

See also

Related Research Articles

Sheep farming raising and breeding of domestic sheep

Sheep farming is the raising and breeding of domestic sheep. It is a branch of animal husbandry. Sheep are raised principally for their meat, milk, and fiber (wool). They also yield sheepskin and parchment.

Pastoral farming covers the systems of production of articles of bovine, type of animal breeding

Pastoral farming is a form of agriculture 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 it to pastoral farmers.

Agriculture in Argentina

Agriculture is one of the bases of Argentina's economy.

Agriculture in Mongolia

Agriculture in Mongolia constitutes over 10% of Mongolia's annual Gross domestic product and employs one-third of the labor force. However, the high altitude, extreme fluctuation in temperature, long winters, and low precipitation provides limited potential for agricultural development. The growing season is only 95 – 110 days. Because of Mongolia's harsh climate, it is unsuited to most cultivation. Only 1% of the arable land in Mongolia is cultivated with crops, amounting to 1,322,000 hectares in 1998. The agriculture sector therefore remains heavily focused on nomadic animal husbandry with 75% of the land allocated to pasture, and cropping only employing 3% of the population. Crops produced in Mongolia include corn, wheat, barley, and potatoes. Animals raised commercially in Mongolia include sheep, goats, cattle, horses, camels, and pigs. They are raised primarily for their meat, although goats are valued for their hair which can be used to produce cashmere.

Economy of New South Wales

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.

Agriculture in Pakistan

Pakistan's principal natural resources are arable land and water. About 25% of Pakistan's agriculture accounts for about 21% of GDP and employs about 43% 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.

Agriculture in Chile

Agriculture in Chile encompasses a wide range of different activities due to its particular geography, climate, geology and human factors. Historically agriculture is one of the bases of Chile's economy, now agriculture and allied sectors—like forestry, logging and fishing—account only for 4.9% of the GDP as of 2007 and employed 13.6% of the country's labor force. Some major agricultural products of Chile include grapes, apples, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool, fish and timber. Due to its geographical isolation and strict customs policies, Chile is free from diseases such as Mad Cow, fruit fly and Phylloxera, this plus being located in the southern hemisphere and its wide range of agriculture conditions are considered Chile’s main comparative advantages. However, the mountainous landscape of Chile limits the extent and intensity of agriculture so that arable land corresponds only to 2.62% of the total territory.

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 important sector in the country after the tertiary and industrial sectors. It contributes nearly 7% to GDP and employs around 15% of the active 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.

Agriculture in Portugal

Agriculture in Portugal is based on small to medium-sized family-owned dispersed units; however, the sector also includes larger-scale intensive farming export-oriented agrobusinesses backed by companies. The extent of cooperative organisation has been reaching a greater importance with globalization. Portugal produces a wide variety of products, including green vegetables, rice, corn, wheat, barley, olives, oilseeds, nuts, cherries, bilberry, table grapes and edible mushrooms. Forestry has also played an important economic role among the rural communities and industry. In 2013, the gross agricultural product accounted for 2.4% of the GDP. Portugal is one of the world's largest producers of wine and cork. The land area of slightly more than 9.2 million hectares was classified as follows : 2,755 arable land and permanent crops, 530 permanent pasture, 3,640 forest and woodland, and 2,270 other land.

Agriculture in New Zealand

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.

Agriculture in Bolivia

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.

Agriculture in Paraguay

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 Panama

Agriculture in Panama is an important sector of the Panamanian economy. Major agricultural products include bananas, cocoa beans, coffee, coconuts, timber, beef, chicken, shrimp, corn, potatoes, rice, soybeans, and sugar cane.

Agriculture in Albania

Agriculture in Albania is still a significant sector of the economy of Albania, which contributes to 22.5% of the country's GDP. The country spans 28,748 square kilometres of which 24% is agricultural land, 36% forest land, 15% pasture and meadow and 25% urban areas including lakes, waterways, unused rocky and mountain land. It can be separated into three main zones such as the lowland zone alongside the coastline of the country, the hill zone in the lowland and the mountain zone.

Agriculture in Spain

Agriculture in Spain is important to the national economy.

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.

Cow–calf operation

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.

Agriculture in Wales

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.

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.


  1. Hutchison, Michelle (18 June 2015). " 2015 Careers in Australia Report". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  2. New reference reveals facts about Australian farming Archived 11 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 30 January 2011
  3. Paull, John & Hennig, Benjamin (2018) Maps of Organic Agriculture in Australia, Journal of Organics. 5 (1): 29–39.
  4. Preston, B.L.; Jones, R.N. (February 2006). "Climate Change Impacts on Australia and the Benefits of Early Action to Reduce Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions" (PDF). CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  5. Paull, John & Hennig, Benjamin (2018) Maps of Organic Agriculture in Australia, Journal of Organics. 5 (1): 29–39.
  6. Shaw, John H., "Collins Australian Encyclopedia", William Collins Pty Ltd., Sydney, 1984, ISBN   0-00-217315-8
  7. "Gross value of farm and fisheries production". Australian Commodities. ABARE economics. 13 (2): 438 and 439. June 2006.
  8. Hildebrand, Clive (2002). "Independent Assessment of the Sugar Industry" (PDF). p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  9. Fair dinkum! Hinch calls 'pointy-head Tasmanian' campaign doomed 1 August 2005, ABC Tasmania, Louise Saunders. Accessed 9 August 2011
  10. Country Leader, 31 January 2011, Farm Facts: Beef is bullish, Rural Press
  11. "Agriculture - Beef Industry - Australia". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  12. Beattie, William A., Beef Cattle Breeding & Management, Popular Books, 1990, ISBN   0-7301-0040-5
  13. Mercer, Phil (9 June 2008). "Cattle farms lure Australian women". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  14. "North Australian Pastoral Company".
  15. "AACo". Archived from the original on 29 March 2007.
  16. "Heytesbury Cattle Company".
  17. Austin, Nigel (1986). Kings of the Cattle Country. Sydney: Bay Books. ISBN   1-86256-066-8.
  18. "Live Export Petition Exceeds 200,000 Signatures // Animals Australia". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. Pip Courtney (25 June 2000). Dairy deregulation rolls on despite protests. Landline. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  21. Lush, Deanna (24 April 2003). "SA develops a taste for feedlot systems". Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  23. "Pink angers Australian government". BBC News. 20 December 2006. Archived from the original on 10 January 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2007.
  24. Wilkinson, Peter (8 November 2004). "In the News". Australian Wool Growers Association. Archived from the original on 24 September 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2007.
  25. "Nutrient Absorbers". 2000. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  26. "Australian Seaweeds". 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  27. "Ideas bloom for seaweed cultivation on the South Coast". 24 June 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  28. "Seaweed as Human Food". 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  29. "Could seaweed farming be Australia's next aquaculture industry?". 13 January 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  30. "Chinese company invests in Aus seaweed, hopes to start farming". 8 March 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  31. "The Implications of Climate Change for Australia's Great Barrier Reef". 1988. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  32. "Nutrient cycling in the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium". 1988. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  33. Newton, John (13 March 2012). "A Hardy evergreen". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  34. "The remarkable story of the Helena". Treetops Plantation. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  35. "Olive growing in Australia" (PDF). Town and Country Farmer. March – April 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  36. Hall, Simon (with Stewart, Robb M.) (18 February 2014). "China Feeds Rush for Australian Olive Oil". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  37. Sinclair, Hannah (1 September 2017). "Chinese investment in WA olive farm a boost for local workers". Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  38. "A guide to Olive Variety Selection" (PDF). Australian Plants. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  39. 1 2 "Drought drives down water consumption". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 November 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  40. F.K. Crowley, Modern Australia in Documents: 1901 – 1939 (1973) pp 77-78.
  41. Rae Wear, "Countrymindedness Revisited," (Australian Political Science Association, 1990) online edition
  42. "Dollar's decline a mixed blessing". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  43. Grindlay, Danielle. SA Agriculture Minister says soil program proves utilising 'God's gifts' can boost yields better than GM technology (March 2015), Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  44. Grindlay, Danielle. SA Agriculture Minister says soil program proves utilising 'God's gifts' can boost yields better than GM technology (March 2015), Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Agriculture in Australia at Wikimedia Commons