Cattle Livestock Down As Crops Show An Increase

Cattle Livestock Down As Crops Show An Increase

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Sheep Flock Sizes At Lowest Levels In 100 Years

Victor P Taffa

Australia’s Sheep Flock continued to decline in 2009-10 and is now at its lowest level in over a century, according to Preliminary Estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

Estimates also reveal that despite periods of unfavourable weather in some regions, recovery in production has continued for a range of major broad acre crops during the previous season.

Production for many broad acre crops, including wheat, oats, cotton and canola increased slightly compared to 2008-09. While remaining at historically low levels, rice production is up on recent years, more than doubling since the last season.

Sheep Numbers (including lambs) are at their lowest level since 1905, continuing the trend of last season. Despite herd rebuilding in some regions, both milk and meat cattle numbers also decreased, by 5% and 4% respectively. Pig numbers remained relatively steady.

Data Highlights:


  • Wheat production rose 2%, compared to 2008-09, to 22.0 million tonnes
  • Production of barley for grain fell by 1% to 7.9 million tonnes
  • Cotton production increased by 22% to 376,000 tonnes
  • Rice production was 198,000 tonnes, over double the production for 2008-09, but still less than one-fifth of production in 1999-2000


  • Milk cattle numbers decreased by 5%, compared to 2008-09, to 2.5 million head
  • Meat cattle decreased by 4% to 24.3 million head
  • Sheep and lamb numbers fell to 67.7 million head, a fall of 7% from 2008-09 and the lowest flock size 1905