Regional Output

NSW Top Primary Industries 2019-20 u

Source: ABARES (2021) , DPI (2021) , DPI (2021) , ABS (2021)


(North Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney, South East)
The Eastern region’s diverse agricultural activities include sub-tropical crops and grazing systems in the north east to temperate production systems in the south east. The region supported 8,920 farm businesses across some 3.5 million hectares of land for agriculture in 2019-20. 17 18

Livestock industries generated $1,382 million in value from the region representing 38% of the total value of primary industries from the Eastern region with beef production the principal activity valued at $693.8 million in 2019-20. Beef production was derived mainly from the North Coast $228.5 million, Hunter $211.0 million and the South East $234.6 million areas. In addition, poultry production contributed some $472.6 million and represented 56% of the state’s total poultry production by value predominantly from farms in the Greater Sydney and Hunter areas.

Livestock products including milk and egg production are also major activities in the Eastern region. Milk production was valued at $441.9 million in 2019-20, an increase of 11% over the previous year attributed in part to increasing milk prices in the later part of the year as processors chased supply. Egg production in the Greater Sydney area decreased in value terms over the previous year by 17% to $53.2 million, similarly the Hunter area experienced a decline in production of 5% to $68.5 million. In contrast, production in some inland areas, such as the Central Tablelands experienced increased egg production.

Horticulture activities in the Eastern region include blueberry and macadamia nut production about the North Coast with production valued at $252.7 million and $98.9 million respectively in 2019-20. Vegetable production worth $196.6 million, from the Greater Sydney area with its ready proximity to market, represented 46% of the state’s total value of vegetable production in 2019-20. Other significant horticulture industries in the Greater Sydney area included nurseries with a value of $126 million in 2019-20, a 9% increase over the previous year., and turf production, producing 73% of turf in NSW by value, totalling $84.3 million.

Wild catch commercial fisheries along the coast and adjoining estuaries in addition to established aquaculture, predominantly oyster production, provided production valued at $172 million in 2019-20. Eighty percent of the state’s oyster production by value were produced from the Hunter and South East areas in 2019-20 worth $47.2 million. h

Forestry within the Eastern region was estimated to produce $161.5 million worth of forestry products, 30% of the state’s total production by value. The North Coast produced an estimated $103.2 million in 2019-20 mainly from hardwood production, while South East area production was $58.3 million from hardwood and softwood plantations.

Eastern region output

Source: ABARES (2021) , ABS (2021) , DPI (2021) , DPI (2021)


(Northern Tablelands, North West)
The Northern area of NSW included 4,824 commercial agricultural business operating across 8.2 million hectares in 2019-20. 17 18 Livestock and broadacre cropping activities are the principal types of agricultural activities across the area.

Livestock production generated 63% of the area’s gross value of primary production. Cattle production in particular, spread across the North West and Northern Tablelands regions, contributed $783.2 million, 29% of the state’s cattle production by value in 2019-20. While poultry production in the North West region decreased by 43% year-on-year in value terms to total $54.1 million in 2019-20. The substantial decrease reflecting poultry processor restructuring.

The value of wool production was also down on 2018-19 to total $73.6 million in 2019-20 for the Northern area. Reflecting the lower average price for wool during the year the value of production was 37% and 54% lower in value terms for the North West and Northern Tablelands regions respectively.

Broadacre cropping was significantly impacted by the continued drought with total production in value terms dropping a further 58% in the North West region in 2019-20 over the previous year. Barley and sorghum production decreased in value terms by 51% and 64% respectively over the prior 2018-19 year. Most significantly, cotton production reached only $102.2 million, 75% lower than 2018-19, which was already much lower than recent years production, a result of the continued drought, and lower water availability for irrigated cotton in 2019-20.

Horticultural activities are typically smaller contributors to primary production in the Northern area. However intensive tomato production in the Northern Tablelands region contributed $28.8 million worth of production in 2019-20, representing 55% of the state’s total tomato production in value terms.

Northern region output

Source: ABS (2021) , ABARES (2021) , DPI (2021) , DPI (2021)


(Central Tablelands, Central West)
The Central region included 5,774 agricultural businesses utilising an estimated 8.6 million hectares in 2019-20 focussed on extensive livestock production, broadacre cropping and areas of irrigated agriculture and horticulture including orchards. 17 18

Livestock production for slaughter contributed 51% of the value of primary production in the central region in 2019-20. Cattle production was valued at $179.8 million and $330.0 million from the Central Tablelands and Central West respectively, combined they represented 19% of the state’s production. Sheep and lamb production totalled $377.9 million from the region, 28% of the state’s total sheep production by value. While wool production from the Central region was valued at $211 million in 2019-20, 27% of the state’s total wool clip by value. Amongst other livestock products produced, egg production in the Central Tablelands increased year-on-year in value terms to $49.6 million, an increase of 130%, with the Central Tablelands ranked fourth in egg production in value terms in the state.

Reflecting the ongoing drought in 2019-20 cropping represented only 19% of the total value of primary industries in the region, with barley, sorghum and oats production all down on the previous year. The value of wheat grown was relatively unchanged from 2018-19 at $130.6 million. Production of cotton decreased 94% from 2018-19, to reach a value of only $8.9 million in 2019-20.

Horticulture in the Central region includes orchard crops such as apples in the Central Tablelands, which increased in value year-on-year by 19% to $28.5 million, contributing 52% of the state’s apple crop by value. Similarly, cherries in the Central Tablelands accounted for 44% of the state crop, and worth $13.2 million to the region in 2019-20, an increase of 39% over the prior year. In the Central West melon production was valued at $13.1 million in 2019-20.

Forestry is the third largest activity by value in the Central Tablelands and is predominantly focussed on softwood plantations. Forest production was responsible for an estimated $118.1 million of forestry outputs in 2019-20, 22% of the state’s total production by value.

Central region output

Source: ABARES (2021) , ABS (2021) , DPI (2021) , DPI (2021)


(Riverina, Murray)
The Southern region is the dominant producer of primary production by value in the state, with large areas of irrigation supporting cropping and livestock production. In 2019-20 8.2 million hectares were operated by 6,019 businesses. 17 18

Cropping activities represented 28% of the Southern region’s total value of primary production in 2019-20. Impacted by extended drought and low water availability for irrigation, total broadacre cropping in the Southern region decreased in value by 24% to total $924 million in 2019-20. The Riverina area alone produced 38% of the state’s broadacre production by value in 2019-20, while the wider Southern region’s share of total broadacre cropping by value in NSW increased from 49% in 2018-19 to 57% in 2019-20. The region produced the majority of wheat and barley by value for the state in 2019-20, $402.9 million or 62% of total wheat, and $202.8 million or 71% of barley produced in NSW. Canola production decreased 22% in value in the Riverina area to $62.5 million which represented 51% of the state’s canola crop by value. As elsewhere in NSW during 2019-20 cotton production was curtailed by drought with production in the Riverina down 76% to $56.3 million and to $3.4 million in the Murray area, 69% lower than in 2018-19.

The Southern region remained the second largest producer of horticulture by value in 2019-20 with a total value of $565.6 million, 28% of the state’s share. Orange production in the Riverina recorded a 33% increase in value of production over 2018-19 to $177.1 million, while almond production in the Riverina reached $56.2 million an increase of 58% over the previous year as more recently planted trees reach maturity. Grapes for wine production decreased to $127.3 million in the Riverina but still represented 56% of NSW production by value.

Livestock production provided the greatest share of the value of primary production in the region in 2019-20. Sheepmeat production remained the largest livestock activity by value in the Riverina area totalling $318.5 million in 2019-20 and the largest sheepmeat producer by value in the state, increasing 26% on the previous year. Sheep and lamb production for the Murray area increased 28% to $122.7 million. Cattle production in the Murray area increased 28% to $348.6 million year-on-year lifting its state ranking for cattle production by value, to third largest contributor, while Riverina production decreased 9% to $314.8 million in 2019-20.

Consistent with strong animal protein markets in 2019-20, pig production increased 45% to $143.6 million in the Murray area and to $80.7 million for the Riverina, a 37% increase over the previous year in value terms. Southern region pig enterprises represent 91% of the state's pig production by value reflecting the consolidation of pig production towards these southern regions.

Forestry products, largely from softwood plantations and some hardwood, were estimated to total $237.1 million in 2019-20. The Murray area remained the highest value forestry area of the state.

Southern region output

Source: ABARES (2021) , ABS (2021) , DPI (2021) , DPI (2021)


Extensive livestock systems dominate the Western region’s primary industry sector output reflecting the large agricultural land area encompassed by the region, and the low annual rainfalls compared to the remained of the state. An estimated 22.7 million hectares were utilised to support 1,022 agricultural businesses in 2019-20. 17 18

The Western region’s production of livestock increased 36% in value in 2019-20 over the previous year, reflecting strong markets for animal protein. Sheep meat was the largest livestock industry in the region valued at $168.6 million in 2019-20, representing 12% of the state's total value of sheep and lamb production. In contrast to other NSW regions cattle production was significantly smaller than sheep production and valued at $73.9 million in 2019-20. Wool production for the Western region was worth $88.7 million in 2019-20, 17% lower than the region’s wool clip in value terms in 2018-19. As for wool generally, the lower value was attributed in part to an average 25% lower wool price in 2019-20 compared to the previous year, 46 as well as increased sheep sales due to the poor feed conditions.

In addition to extensive livestock production, agricultural value in the region is principally generated from horticultural enterprises in locations with access to irrigation. Table grape and dried grape production valued at $88.7 million eclipsed wine grape production at $86.2 million in 2019-20. The Western region is the highest ranked region for production of non-wine grapes in the state, with the value of this activity increasing by 29% over 2018-29.

In the case of wine grape production the Western region is ranked second in the state in value terms. Similarly, almond production has continued to develop with the value of production increasing 16% on the prior year to total $47.9 million in 2019-20. Orange orchards also contribute to the region’s primary production, the second ranked region in the state for the fruit, valued at $32 million in 2019-20, 17% lower than the previous year.

Western region output

Source: ABARES (2021) , ABS (2021) , DPI (2021) , DPI (2021)