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Agricultural productivity

​​​​Productivity measures the quantity of output produced with a given quantity of inputs. Long term productivity growth reflects improvements in farmers’ production efficiency and technological progress. Improving productivity on farms contributes to profitability and competiveness because it allows farmers to produce more output using fewer inputs.

A key focus of ABARES research is measuring Australian agricultural productivity and understanding the factors that influence its growth, such as innovation, seasonal conditions and policy changes.

Recent insights

Rural Research Development & Extension investment in Australia

21 September 2017

Australian rural research development and extension funding was worth over $3.3 billion in 2014-15. This report explores the Australian rural R&D system.

Labour force survey

18 May 2017

This paper provides insights into vegetable, horticulture and cotton farmers’ use of labour, recent recruitment experiences and expected future labour requirements.

Productivity in Australia’s broadacre and dairy industries

07 March 2017

Explore the latest estimates of productivity trends in Australia’s beef, sheep, cropping and dairy industries. The effect of climate on cropping productivity is examined in more detail in this issue.


Has Growth in Productivity in Australian Broadacre Agriculture Slowed? A Historical View

29 November 2016

Agricultural productivity growth has slowed since the mid-1990s; likely due to long-term decline in public R&D investment and climate variability.

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Measuring Output, Input and Total Factor Productivity in Australian Agriculture: An Industry-Level Analysis

25 July 2016

This technical paper uses the growth accounting approach to estimate total factor productivity in the Australian agriculture industry between 1949 & 2012.

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Last reviewed:
17 Oct 2017