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About my region – Hume Victoria

​​​​​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 and forestry sectors in the Hume region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy, and vegetable industries.

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Regional overview

The Hume region of Victoria is located in the north east of the state. The region comprises the 10 local government areas of Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Mitchell, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga, and parts of Greater Shepparton and Yarra Ranges. The Hume region includes the major regional centres of Wangaratta and Wodonga. The region covers a total area of around 34,000 square kilometres or 15 per cent of Victoria's total area and is home to approximately 174,600 people (ABS 2018).

Agricultural land in the Hume region occupies 15,000 square kilometres, or 44 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) also occupy 7,200 square kilometres, or 21 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing modified pasture, which occupies 12,400 square kilometres or 36 per cent of the Hume region (ABARES 2016).

Broad land use in the Hume region
Shows a map of broad land use in the Hume region. It includes a legend which shows the broad land use categories— nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use; grazing native vegetation; production forestry; grazing modified pastures; plantation forestry; cropping; horticulture; intensive uses and water. This map is discussed in the above paragraph.
Source: Catchment scale land use of Australia - Update December 2018

Employment

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 80,900 people were employed in the Hume region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 9 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 11,100 people, followed by retail trade with 9,100 people, and agriculture, forestry and fishing with 8,100 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were construction; accommodation and food services; and manufacturing. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector represented 10 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Hume region, February 2019
Shows the number of people employed in the Hume region by industry in thousands. The figure is discussed in the previous two paragraphs.
Note: Annual average of the preceding 4 quarters.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 6291.0, Labour Force, Australia 2019

Agricultural sector

Value of agricultural production

In 2017–18, the gross value of agricultural production in the Hume region was $1.1 billion, which was 7 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($15 billion).

The Hume region has a diverse agricultural sector. The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were cattle and calves ($340 million), followed by sheep and lambs ($172 million) and milk ($169 million). These commodities together contributed 62 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.

Value of agricultural production, Hume region, 2017–18
Shows the gross value of agricultural production in the region in millions of dollars. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs.
Note: The graph shows only data published by the ABS. Some values were not published by the ABS to ensure confidentiality. The "Other commodities" category includes the total value of commodities not published as well as those with small values.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 7503.0, Value of agricultural commodities produced, Australia 2019

Number and type of farms

ABS data indicate that in 2016–17 there were 2,862 farms in the Hume region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 13 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Hume region, 2016–17
Industry classificationHume regionVictoria
Number of farms% of regionNumber of farmsContribution of region to state total %
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)1,44350.45,64225.6
Sheep Farming (Specialised)37213.02,79513.3
Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming2097.31,28316.3
Dairy Cattle Farming1936.83,9284.9
Horse Farming1836.460430.4
Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming1113.91,9205.8
Other Grain Growing1063.72,3204.6
Grape Growing762.68468.9
Other1685.92,5226.7
Total agriculture 2,862 100 21,860 13.1

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. Beef cattle farms (1,443 farms) were the most common, accounting for 50 per cent of all farms in the Hume region, and 26 per cent of all 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 38 per cent of farms in the Hume region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 10 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2016–17. In comparison, 16 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $500,000 and accounted for an estimated 53 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Hume region in 2016–17.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Hume region, 2016–17
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Hume region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with an EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2016–17 are included in these data. The scope of ABS Rural Environment and Agricultural Collections changed in 2015–16 to include only agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Farm financial performance

Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms in Victoria.

Forestry sector

In 2014–15, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Hume region was 64,200 hectares, comprised of 6,400 hectares of hardwood plantations and 57,800 hectares of softwood plantations. The main hardwood species planted is blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and the main softwood species planted is radiata pine (Pinus radiata).

In 2011, there were 1.8 million hectares of native forests in the Hume region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt medium open (999,000 hectares), Eucalypt tall open (486,800 hectares) and Eucalypt medium woodland (161,600 hectares) forest types. The majority of the native forests were multiple-use public forests available for timber production (958,700 hectares), 494,500 hectares were in nature conservation reserves, and 293,500 hectares were privately managed. Major sawmills are located at Benalla, while wood-based panel mills are located at Myrtleford and Wangaratta.

In 2015–16, the total plantation area in Victoria was 423,000 hectares, comprised of 199,000 hectares of hardwood plantations, 223,300 hectares of softwood plantations and 800 hectares of other plantations.

In 2015–16, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Victoria was 1.3 million cubic metres valued at $112 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested was 2.8 million cubic metres valued at $194 million. The volume of softwood harvested was 4 million cubic metres valued at $293 million.

The sales and service income generated from the sale of wood products in Victoria was estimated at $3.4 billion in 2015–16. Sales and service income for paper and paper products is not available for 2015−16.

In 2016, the Victorian forestry sector employed 16,713 workers (0.6 per cent of the total employed workforce in Victoria) compared with 21,285 (0.9 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes the following categories: forestry, logging, support services, timber wholesaling; and wood, pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing.

Area of native forest, by tenure, Hume region
Shows the area of native forest, by tenure in the region in thousand hectares. This figure is discussed in the above paragraphs.
Source: ABARES Australia's State of the Forests Report 2013

References

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.


Last reviewed:
03 Jun 2019