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 Shepparton region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy and vegetable industries.
The Shepparton region of Victoria is located in the north of the state. The region comprises the three local government areas of Campaspe, Greater Shepparton and Moira, and the major regional centres of Echuca, Shepparton—Mooroopna and Yarrawonga. The region covers a total area of around 10,900 square kilometres or 5 per cent of Victoria's total area and is home to approximately 132,900 people (ABS 2018).
Agricultural land in the Shepparton region occupies 8,800 square kilometres, or 81 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 3,500 square kilometres or 32 per cent of the Shepparton region (ABARES 2016).
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 68,700 people were employed in the Shepparton region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 16 per cent of all people employed in the Victorian agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector was the largest employment sector with 14,900 people, representing 22 per cent of the region's workforce. Health care and social assistance was the second largest employment sector with 9,500 people, followed by retail trade with 7,900 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were manufacturing; construction; and education and training.
Value of agricultural production
In 2017–18, the gross value of agricultural production in the Shepparton region was $1.9 billion, which was 13 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($15 billion).
The Shepparton region has a diverse agricultural sector. The most important commodities in the Shepparton region based on the gross value of agricultural production were milk ($570 million), followed by cattle and calves ($242 million) and apples ($158 million). These commodities together contributed 52 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region. In 2017–18 the Shepparton region accounted for 96 per cent ($69 million) of the total value of Victoria's pear production.
Number and type of farms
ABS data indicate that in 2016–17 there were 2,219 farms in the Shepparton region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 10 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Shepparton region, 2016–17
|Industry classification||Shepparton region||Victoria|
|Number of farms||% of Region||Number of farms||Contribution of region|
to state total
|Dairy Cattle Farming||861||38.8||3,928||21.9|
|Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)||328||14.8||5,642||5.8|
|Other Grain Growing||249||11.2||2,320||10.7|
|Sheep Farming (Specialised)||183||8.2||2,795||6.5|
|Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming||121||5.5||1,920||6.3|
|Apple and Pear Growing||117||5.3||205||57.1|
|Other Crop Growing nec||94||4.2||265||35.6|
|Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming||59||2.6||1,283||4.6|
|Stone Fruit Growing||55||2.5||185||29.6|
|Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)||28||1.3||513||5.5|
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. Dairy cattle farms (861 farms) were the most common, accounting for 39 per cent of all farms in the Shepparton region, and 22 per cent of all dairy 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 20 per cent of farms in the Shepparton 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, 18 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 58 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Shepparton 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.