The statistical information on this site may not be the latest. For the most up to date information visit the ABS website abs.gov.au

This is not the latest release View the latest release

Agricultural Commodities, Australia methodology

Reference period
2017 - 2018
Released
15/05/2020

Explanatory notes

Introduction

1 This publication contains final estimates for data items collected in the 2017-18 Rural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey (REACS). Included are statistics on land use, crop and horticultural area and production, livestock numbers, farm management and demographic information.

2 National and state/territory level estimates are presented in this release. Data at sub-state levels including Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (2016 edition) Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) and Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions will be released as data cubes (Excel xls) and comma separated value (csv) files attached to the publication.

3 The survey is conducted annually in the years between the five-yearly Agricultural Census.

4 The majority of estimates in this publication were compiled from information obtained from the survey for the financial year ended 30 June 2018. Administrative data from non-Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) sources were also used to supplement reported data. A copy of the survey form can be found in the Downloads section of this publication.

Scope and coverage

5 The scope of the survey was all businesses undertaking agricultural activity recorded on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Business Register (ABSBR) above a minimum threshold applied to the estimated value of their agricultural operations.

6 The ABSBR is based on the Australian Business Register (ABR). Most businesses and organisations in Australia are required to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for their business operations. The ABR stores details about businesses and organisations when they register for an ABN.

7 For the purposes of REACS, a business (statistical unit) is identified as undertaking agricultural activity if any of the primary or secondary productive activities of that business fall within the Agriculture Subdivision (Subdivision 01) as defined by the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). For more information, please refer to Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

8 Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) was used to determine whether an agricultural business operation was in-scope for the 2016-17 REACS. EVAO is an ABS construct used to estimate the relative size of agricultural activity undertaken by a business. Three-year average weighted prices are applied to livestock sales and livestock numbers on the farm, and to area and production data for crops. The resultant aggregation of these commodity values is the EVAO. It is not an indicator of the value of receipts of individual farms (turnover) but rather an indicator of the size or extent of agricultural activity. A three year average weight price is used to minimise the effects of both large movements in commodity prices and seasonal conditions which may otherwise unduly influence a business’ EVAO. For businesses below the threshold, or with no previously reported agricultural activity, a derived value of operations based on turnover reported in its Businesses Activity Statement (BAS) is used as a proxy with only those businesses with an in-cycle EVAO above the minimum threshold contributing to estimates.

9 The scope for the survey was all agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. This is a change from previous surveys, where a scope of EVAO of $5,000 or greater was used, and is a continuation of the scope used in the 2015-16 Agricultural Census.

10 As a result of the change in scope, the estimates from the survey will not be directly comparable to previous published survey outputs. To address this, additional estimates have been produced from a number of rural environment and agricultural commodity collections from 2010-11 to 2014-15 using an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. These estimates are now available at the national, state/territory levels and sub-state levels on the ABS website.

11 The final estimates are based on the achieved target response rate of 77.1% from a sample of 29,315 agricultural businesses selected.

Reliability of estimates (sample error)

12 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from agricultural businesses that responded to the survey. However, since not all of the businesses that were selected provided data, the estimates are subject to sampling variability; that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been produced if information had been collected from all businesses.

13 One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE) which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample was taken or received. There are approximately two chances in three that a 'sample' estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all establishments had responded or been reported for, and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

14 In this publication, 'sampling' variability of the estimates is measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. Most published estimates have RSEs less than 10%. For some states and territories with limited production of certain commodities, RSEs are greater than 10%. Estimates that have an estimated RSE between 10% and 25% should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% should also be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are considered too unreliable for general use.

15 RSEs for all published estimates are available on request.

16 A table with RSEs for selected commodities follows:

Relative standard errors of selected estimates - year ended 30 June 2018

 Aust.NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACT
 
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
Barley for grain - Production (t)
2.5
4.0
5.2
17.4
6.2
3.6
6.2
-
44.4
Canola - Production (t)
2.7
4.2
5.6
45.2
9.3
4.5
8.8
-
-
Cotton - Production (kg)
8.0
7.3
-
11.0
-
0.0
-
-
-
Grain sorghum - Production (t)
3.7
8.8
47.9
4.1
55.8
10.2
-
56.4
-
Oats for grain - Production (t)
4.5
9.4
12.5
26.4
24.4
5.5
18.7
-
-
Wheat for grain - Production (t)
1.8
2.4
4.1
7.5
4.7
3.0
5.6
-
44.4
Carrots - Production (t)
2.7
59.5
3.7
5.7
0.9
0.9
13.3
-
-
Oranges - Production (t)
4.4
7.0
12.6
6.1
7.6
6.8
-
-
-
Potatoes - Production (t)
3.3
13.2
9.5
11.1
4.3
11.6
6.4
-
-
Total Dairy cattle (no.)
3.9
8.9
5.5
7.7
11.1
11.7
6.7
0.0
-
Total Meat cattle (no.)
1.4
2.6
3.3
2.6
3.8
3.2
3.6
1.6
10.3
Total Sheep and lambs (no.)
1.3
2.3
3.4
8.1
3.2
2.6
2.5
85.4
32.0
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

 

Rounding and confidentiality

17 Where figures for individual states or territories have been suppressed for reasons of confidentiality, they have been included in relevant totals.

18 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

19 Final estimates for water use, water sources and irrigation expenditure are available in Water Use on Australian Farms, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4618.0) in April 2019.

20 Final estimates of the gross value of agricultural commodities are available in Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2017-18 (cat. no. 7503.0) in April 2019.

21 Final estimates of the gross value of agricultural commodities that are produced with the assistance of irrigation will be released in May 2019 in Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production, Australia, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008).

22 ABS publications related to this survey and related environment and agricultural surveys can be accessed under the Statistics page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.

ABS data available on request

23 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

General acknowledgment

24 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Privacy

25 The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to the ABS.

Quality declaration

Institutional environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

Relevance

Final estimates from the 2017–18 Rural Agricultural and Commodities Survey (REACS) will be presented in four publications:

Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0) contains detailed statistics on land use, crop and horticultural area and production, livestock numbers and farm management and demographic information. The publication presents data on a national, state and territory and sub-state level, including Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Statistical Area 4 (SA4) and Natural Resource Management (NRM) regions.

Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0) contains detailed statistics on agricultural water use and sources of water, including details of pastures and crops irrigated, expense of irrigation and volume of water applied. The publication presents data on a national, state and territory and sub-state level, including ASGS SA4, NRM regions and the Murray-Darling Basin region.

Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (cat. no. 7503.0) presents value of production statistics. It contains detailed statistics on the gross and local values of crops, livestock slaughters and disposals, and livestock products. This publication presents data on a national, state and territory and sub-state level, including ASGS SA4 and NRM regions.

Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) presents the gross value of agricultural commodities that are produced with the assistance of irrigation. The publication presents data on a national, state and territory basis, NRM region and Murray-Darling Basin region.

Timeliness

Agricultural Commodities, Australia (cat. no. 7121.0), Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (cat. no. 7503.0) and Water Use on Australian Farms (cat. no. 4618.0) will be published in April 2019 and Gross Value of Irrigated Agricultural Production (cat. no. 4610.0.55.008) will be published in May 2019.

Accuracy

Data from the 2017-18 survey are based on a response rate of 77.1% and have been extensively quality assured. The resultant estimates have been checked against earlier years' estimates and relevant other sources, to ensure the accuracy of estimates produced.

All estimates in this publication are subject to sampling error. For more information about these errors, refer to the Explanatory Notes within this release.

Coherence

The survey was conducted using a frame based on the Australian Business Register (ABR). This is the same as the frame used for the 2015-16 Agricultural Census and for annual agricultural surveys and agricultural conducted since 2005-06.

For the purposes of this collection a business (statistical unit) is identified as undertaking agricultural activity if any of the primary or secondary productive activities of that business fall with the Agriculture Subdivision (Subdivision 01) as defined by the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). For more information, please refer to Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

The scope of the survey was all agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. This is a change from previous surevys, where a scope of EVAO of $5,000 or greater was used, and is a continuation of the scope used in the 2015-16 Agricultural Census. The scope better aligns this collection with contemporary definitions of an agricultural business and reduces the overall reporting load for smaller agricultural businesses. It is proposed that only agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater will be in scope for ABS rural environmental and agricultural commodity collections in the future. For more information about EVAO, refer to the Explanatory Notes within this release.

As a result of the change in scope, the estimates from the survey will not be directly comparable to previous published survey outputs. To address this, additional estimates have been produced from a number of rural environment and agricultural commodity collections from 2010-11 to 2014-15 using an EVAO of $40,000 or greater. These estimates are now available at the national, state/territory levels and sub-state levels on the ABS website.

Interpretability

The survey and the Agricultural Census provide a broad range of data about Australian agricultural commodities through a suite of standard products or as data customised for individual requirements. Time series data are available for some estimates that were collected through previous surveys/censuses. Detailed explanatory notes are provided with each publication to assist users in determining and specifying their data requirements and to understand the concepts underlying the data.

Accessibility

An extensive range of data is available from a variety of agriculture-based collections on the ABS website.

If the information you require is not available as a standard product or service, the ABS Consultancy Services can assist with customised services to suit your requirements. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Abbreviations

Show all

'000thousand
'000 hathousand hectares
'000 tthousand tonnes
ABARESAustralian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences
ABNAustralian Business Number
ABRAustralian Business Register
ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ABSBRAustralian Bureau of Statistics Business Register
ACTAustralian Capital Territory
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
ASGSAustralian Statistical Geography Standard
ATOAustralian Taxation Office
Aust.Australia
BASBusiness Activity Statement
cat. no.catalogue number
csvcomma separated values file
EVAOEstimated Value of Agricultural Operations
hahectare
excl.excluding
kgkilogram
kg/hakilograms per hectare
kg/treekilograms per tree
m2metres square
nanot available
npnot published
n.e.c.not elsewhere classified
no.number
NRMNatural Resource Management
NSWNew South Wales
NTNorthern Territory
Qld.Queensland
REACSRural Environment and Agricultural Commodities Survey
RSErelative standard error
SASouth Australia
SA4Statistical Area Level 4
SEstandard error
ttonne
t/hatonnes per hectare
Tas.Tasmania
VACPValue of Agricultural Commodities Produced
Vic.Victoria
WAWestern Australia
xlsMicrosoft Excel spreadsheet file