Research topics


​​​​Our research comprehensively covers the agriculture and water resource portfolio – reports, information and data is grouped within the following research areas and the ‘About my region’ sub-site.

Research topics

Latest research

Trends in water entitlement holdings and trade: Analysis of ABARES survey data

This report explains trends in water entitlement ownership and trade by farms in the southern Murray–Darling Basin between 2007–08 and 2018–19. These trends help to understand the dynamics of demand and supply of water in the southern basin, and where market pressures exist.

Published: 15 July 2021.


New insights into Australia's biosecurity market access and agricultural exports

This report examines key drivers of Australia’s agricultural export growth following biosecurity market access. It provides a framework for looking at the drivers across a paddock-to-plate spectrum that have been fundamental to the sector's success.

Published: 8 July 2021.


Australian Agricultural Productivity, 2019–20 data dashboard now available

This product now includes climate adjusted productivity estimates from 1988–89 to 2019–20. Explore the latest ABARES agricultural productivity estimates for the broadacre and dairy industries in an interactive data dashboard.

Published: 28 June 2021


Australian forest and wood products statistics, September and December quarters 2020 released

This series publication provides the latest data on domestic forestry sector activity, including gross value of production, sales and service income, industry value added and trade.

Published: 22 June 2021


Financial performance of livestock farms: 2018-19 to 2020-21 now available

This series publication analyses the financial performance of livestock farms in Australia from 2018–19 to 2020–21. Data is drawn from the ABARES annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey (AAGIS), and the broadacre farm microsimulation model farmpredict.

Published: 17 June 2021


Financial performance of cropping farms: 2018-19 to 2020-21 now available

This series publication analyses the financial performance of cropping farms in Australia from 2018–19 to 2020–21. Data is drawn from the ABARES annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey (AAGIS), and the broadacre farm microsimulation model farmpredict.

Published: 17 June 2021


Agricultural Commodities report – June 2021

Australian farmgate production is on track for a record-breaking $66.3 billion year. ABARES' June quarter 2021 Agriculture Commodities report shows how the sector has navigated the uncertainties and challenges posed by COVID-19 and changes in the international trade landscape.

Published: 16 June 2021


Australian crop report – June 2021

Winter crop prospects is forecast to be well above average nationally and total 46.8 million tonnes in 2021–22. However, there are regional variations with more favourable prospects in most cropping regions in Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland compared to those in Victoria and South Australia.

Published: 8 June 2021.


The state of weeds data collection in Australia

This report presents results from a national survey of state, territory and Natural Resource Management (NRM) stakeholders to understand the status of weeds data collection and sharing, and identify opportunities for national data coordination.

Published: 30 April 2021.


Pest Animal and Weed Management Survey 2016–19: National land manager survey results

This report and interactive data dashboard present the results from two national surveys of agricultural land managers about pest animal and weed management on their property and local area, which were conducted by ABARES in 2016 and 2019.

Published: 28 April 2021.


Understanding effects of supply disruptions on globally and locally focused economies

This paper explores the implications of trade and support policies designed to increase local production to reduce the risks of international shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides input into current debates around creating more locally based supply chains through inward focused policies.

Published: 19 April 2021.


Catchment scale land use profiles

These interactive dashboards and web map allows users to generate land use maps, tables and graphs for states and territories, Natural Resource management regions, local government areas and federal electoral divisions.

Published 15 April 2021.


Water Market Outlook March 2021

This report provides initial forecasts for water prices in 2021–22 for the major trading zones in the sMDB, along with analysis of the various supply and demand drivers currently affecting the sMDB water market.

Published 31 March 2021.


Australian Commodities Report – March 2021 edition released

The value of Australian agricultural production is forecast to reach a record $65.9 billion in 2020-21. Agricultural exports are forecast to fall 4% to $46.3 billion.

Published 2 March 2021.


Farm performance: broadacre and dairy farms, 2018–19 to 2020–21

This report and new data dashboard provide results from ABARES recently completed surveys and examine changes over time in average farm incomes among broadacre and dairy farms in Australia.

Published 2 March 2021.


Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Outlook 2021

This forecast contains projections of the value of Australian fisheries and aquaculture production and exports to 2025–26. The GVP of Australian fisheries and aquaculture is expected to decline in 2020–21 to $2.9 billion (down 6%) from 2019–20 due to COVID-19 related demand and supply disruptions.

Published 2 March 2021.


Australian agricultural productivity, 2019–20 data dashboard

Explore the latest ABARES agricultural productivity estimates for the broadacre and dairy industries. This release includes new data through to 2019–20, and presents the results in a new interactive data dashboard.

Published 2 March 2021.


Disaggregating farm performance statistics by size, 2019–20 data dashboard

ABARES new interactive dashboard provides an innovative way to explore farm financial performance statistics by different size categories for the broadacre, dairy and vegetable industries. This release includes the latest data through to 2019–20 and shows industry level farm performance is increasingly driven by the largest farms.

Published 2 March 2021.


Snapshot of Australian Agriculture 2021: Insights

The Snapshot of Australian Agriculture 2021 draws on previously published statistics and insights into key aspects of Australian agriculture.

Published 25 February 2021.


A model of spatial and inter-temporal water trade in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

This paper presents an economic model of water markets and irrigated agriculture within the Australian southern Murray-Darling Basin (sMDB).

Published 25 February 2021.


Stocktake of megatrends shaping Australian agriculture: Insights

The latest ABARES Insights paper sets out five megatrends, each of which is framed in terms of three component trends. The megatrends analysis confirms the fundamentals are in place to support agricultural growth, while identifying several challenges to be addressed.

Published: 23 February 2021.


The economic impacts of regulating live sheep exports

Live sheep exports are an important part of the strategies that Western Australian sheep farms use to manage the risks associated with a short growing season in spring. In 2018 public concerns about the live sheep trade led the Australian Government to consult on regulations designed to help the industry retain its social licence by reducing risks to animal welfare. This report explores the likely economic impacts of regulations designed to improve animal welfare and make the trade in live sheep more sustainable.

Published: 19 February 2021.


Forecast of improved summer crop production in 2020- 21

The Australian Crop Report – February 2021 estimates that summer crop planting in Queensland and northern New South Wales to be 3 times larger than the drought affected season in 2019–20. Estimates of winter crop production in 2020–21 is also revised higher to total 55.2 million tonnes.

Published: 16 February 2021.


Estimating the value of Australia remaining Equine Influenza free since 2007

This report has been prepared to provide evidence to assess the benefits from maintaining freedom from Equine Influenza and to help assessments over the costs and benefits of interventions should a new outbreak occur.

Published: 18 December 2020.


Regional Forest Agreements – Reservation and resource availability outcomes

Australia’s ten Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are long-term agreements for the sustainable management and conservation of Australia’s forests. This report presents a complete compilation of the data relating to the formal outcomes from the RFAs.

Published: 18 December 2020.


National Priority List of Exotic Environmental Pests, Weeds and Diseases Dataset (Public Summary Version 1.0)

This dataset is comprised of 168 species from eight thematic groups of pests, weeds or diseases. It contains overall risk ratings for Priority List species, likelihood categories for entry, establishment and spread, and impact categories for environment and social amenity.

Published: 18 December 2020.


ABS and ABARES partnership delivers new farm database for Australia

This report about the Agricultural Data Integration Project details this innovative work that integrates several existing datasets to unlock new insights and applications for Australian farms.

Published: 16 December 2020.


Value creation in Australia through agricultural exports: playing to advantages

This ABARES Insights report analysis returns across the economy from agricultural exports, comparing different pathways for value creation, such as adding attributes or further downstream processing.

Published: 15 December 2020.


2020 Agricultural Commodity Statistics datasets now available

The Agricultural commodity statistics compendium provides a set of comprehensive statistical tables on Australian and world prices, production, consumption, stocks and trade for 19 rural commodities.

Published: 15 December 2020.


Opportunities from action on climate change: Insights

Australia’s farmers are well placed to benefit from global market changes as countries and businesses around the world act on and adapt to climate change, the latest ABARES Insights paper has found.

Published: 10 December 2020.


Agricultural Commodities Report – December 2020 edition released

The upgrade reflects higher winter and summer crop production following a favourable spring and positive rainfall outlook, and an increase in the value of domestic saleyard cattle.

Published: 7 December 2020.


Labour use on Australian farms 2018-19 update now available

This update provides more insight into the potential effects of COVID on the availability of farm workers, additional data on horticulture production and use of overseas labour on horticulture farms.

Published: 7 December 2020.


Australia’s Indigenous land and forest estate: separate reporting of Indigenous ownership, management and other special rights report

This report provides estimates of the Indigenous land and forest estate over which Indigenous peoples and communities have ownership, management or co management, or other special rights.

Published: 3 December 2020.


Australia’s Indigenous forest estate (2020) dataset

This dataset estimates the Indigenous land and forest estate is 438 million hectares of land (including 70 million hectares of forest).

Published: 3 December 2020.


Trends in the Australian Agricultural Workforce analyses 20 years of census data

This paper reports on timeseries that describe trends within the Australian agriculture, services to agriculture and meat processing workforces between 1996/2001 and 2016.

Published: 2 December 2020.


Forecast of near record 51.5m tonne national winter crop

The Australian Crop Report - December 2020 forecasts a 76 per cent rise in Australia’s 2020-21 winter crop production to 51.5 million tonnes, second only to the record 56.7 million tonnes in 2016–17.

Published: 1 December 2020.


Australian forest and wood products statistics: March and June quarters 2020

This report highlights a contraction in the value of forestry exports, which began in September 2019 and peaked in January 2020.

Published: 26 November 2020.


Pathways to sustainable and productive agriculture: an Australian perspective

This conference paper was presented on 28 October 2020 in a webinar hosted by the Australian Mission to the European Union, titled ‘EU-Australia farming: one goal, many paths to sustainability’.

Published: 18 November 2020.


Agricultural trade implications of COVID-19 - fact sheet series compilation released

This report is a compendium of 11 fact sheets produced for the Trade and Market Access Division as part of the Department's response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: 17 November 2020.


Measuring drought risk

The Measuring drought risk report measures the effect of drought on the profits of farms and considers how drought risk varies across different farm types and regions.

Published: 11 November 2020.



Defining drought from the perspective of Australian farmers

The Defining drought from the perspective of Australian farmers report presents a new drought indicator as  an alternative to traditional rainfall measures.

Published: 11 November 2020.



Fisheries Status Reports for 2020 now public

The 2020 Fisheries Status Reports show that no stocks have been classified as subject to overfishing in fisheries solely managed by the Australian Government.

Published: 9 October 2020.


Last reviewed: 15 July 2021
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