Australian grains: financial performance of grain farms, 2013-14 to 2015-16

Agriculture Grains Australia
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This report presents detailed financial performance estimates for grain producing farms for 2013-14 to 2015-16, with an emphasis on 2014-15 results. Grain producing farms are defined as those Australian broadacre farm businesses that grew at least 40 hectares of grain, oilseed or pulse crops.

The report draws on data from the ABARES annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey (AAGIS). This survey has been conducted by ABARES and its predecessors since 1977-78 and provides government and industry stakeholders with important data for analysing and monitoring changes in Australia's broadacre industries.

The AAGIS is funded by The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

This report was commissioned and funded by the GRDC.

Key Issues

  • Farm cash income for grain producing farms is estimated to have increased by 7 per cent in 2014-15 to an average of $229 000 a farm as higher total cash receipts more than offset a small rise in total cash costs. The average rate of return was 2.8 per cent. In 2015-16 average farm cash income is estimated to have increased further to around $258 000 and the average rate of return to have increased to around 3.5 per cent.
  • Specialist grain farms (grain farms that obtained more than 50 per cent of their total receipts from crops sales) recorded an average farm cash income of $304 000 in 2014-15; for non-specialist farms it was about $124 000. On average, from 2000-01 to 2015-16, specialist farms recorded farm cash incomes around $125 000 higher than non-specialist farms.
  • The Western region recorded higher average farm incomes and rates of return than the Northern and Southern regions in 2014-15. The Western region is estimated to have again been the best performing region in 2015-16.
  • The cropping industry recorded the second highest total factor productivity growth - at 1.8 per cent - of all broadacre industries between 2000-01 and 2013-14. Key drivers of cropping industry productivity include new plant varieties, better water management and improvements in cropping equipment technology.
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