About my region is a series of individual profiles of the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries in your region. This regional profile presents an overview of the agriculture sector in the Bendigo region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy, and vegetable industries.
The Bendigo region is located in central Victoria. The region comprises the three local government areas of Greater Bendigo, Loddon and Mount Alexander, parts of Central Goldfields and Macedon Ranges local government areas, and the major regional centre of Bendigo. The region covers a total area of around 11,800 square kilometres or 5 per cent of Victoria's total area and is home to approximately 157,800 people (ABS 2018).
Agricultural land in the Bendigo region occupies 8,800 square kilometres, or 74 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) also occupy 1,300 square kilometres, or 11 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing modified pasture, which occupies 5,600 square kilometres or 47 per cent of the Bendigo region (ABARES 2016).
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 79,400 people were employed in the Bendigo region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 3 per cent of all people employed in the Victorian agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
Health care and social assistance was the largest employment sector with 14,400 people, followed by manufacturing with 10,000 people, and construction with 8,600 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were retail trade; education and training; and public administration and safety. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 2,700 people, representing 3 per cent of the region's workforce.
Value of agricultural production
In 2017–18, the gross value of agricultural production in the Bendigo region was $691 million, which was 5 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($15 billion).
The Bendigo region has a diverse agricultural sector. The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were sheep and lambs ($166 million), followed by wool ($137 million) and poultry ($69 million). These commodities together contributed 54 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.
Number and type of farms
ABS data indicate that in 2016–17 there were 1,119 farms in the Bendigo region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 5 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Bendigo region, 2016–17
|Industry classification||Bendigo region||Victoria|
|Number of farms||% of region||Number of farms||Contribution of region to state total %|
|Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming || 332 ||29.6 || 1,920 ||17.3 |
|Sheep Farming (Specialised) || 230 ||20.6 || 2,795 ||8.2 |
|Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised) || 134 ||12.0 || 5,642 ||2.4 |
|Other Grain Growing || 100 ||9.0 || 2,320 ||4.3 |
|Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming || 62 ||5.5 || 1,283 ||4.8 |
|Horse Farming || 51 ||4.6 || 604 ||8.4 |
|Beekeeping || 46 ||4.1 || 53 ||87.4 |
|Dairy Cattle Farming || 42 ||3.8 || 3,928 ||1.1 |
|Pig Farming || 29 ||2.6 || 105 ||28.0 |
|Olive Growing || 15 ||1.4 || 49 ||31.7 |
|Apple and Pear Growing || 15 ||1.3 || 205 ||7.2 |
|Grape Growing || 14 ||1.2 || 846 ||1.6 |
|Other || 48 ||4.3 || 2,111 ||2.3 |
Note: Estimated value of agricultural operations $40,000 or more. Industries that constitute less than 1 per cent of the region's industry are not shown.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Grain-sheep or grain-beef cattle farms (332 farms) were the most common, accounting for 30 per cent of all farms in the Bendigo region, and 17 per cent of all grain-sheep or grain-beef cattle farms in Victoria.
Estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) is a measure of the value of production from farms and a measure of their business size. Around 24 per cent of farms in the Bendigo region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 3 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2016–17. In comparison, 24 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 64 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Bendigo region in 2016–17.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms in
ABARES 2016, Land Use of Australia 2010–11, ABARES, Canberra, May.
ABARES 2018, Catchment scale land use of Australia – December 2018, Canberra, December.
ABS 2018, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2017, cat. no. 3235.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 10 January 2019.
ABS 2019a Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Feb 2019, cat. no. 6291.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 03 April 2019.
ABS 2019b Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2017-18, cat. no. 7503.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 15 May 2019.