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.
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).
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the November 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 85,100 people were employed in the Hume region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 13 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 11,900 people, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing with 10,000 people, and manufacturing with 9,200 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were education and training; retail trade; and accommodation and food services. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector represented 12 per cent of the region's workforce.
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.
Number and type of farms
ABS data indicate that in 2017–18 there were 2,426 farms in the Hume region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 12 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.
|Industry classification||Hume region||Victoria|
|Number of farms||% of region||Number of farms||Contribution of region to state total %|
|Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)||1,267||52.2||4,975||25.5|
|Sheep Farming (Specialised)||349||14.4||2,945||11.8|
|Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming||272||11.2||1,286||21.1|
|Dairy Cattle Farming||138||5.7||3,547||3.9|
|Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming||74||3.1||1,956||3.8|
|Other Grain Growing||30||1.2||1,986||1.5|
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 2019
Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (1,267 farms) were the most common, accounting for 52 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 31 per cent of farms in the Hume region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 7 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2017–18. In comparison, 9 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $500,000 and accounted for an estimated 43 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Hume region in 2017–18.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms in Victoria.
In 2014–15 the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Hume region was about 64,200 hectares, comprised of 6,410 hectares of hardwood plantations and 57,770 hectares of softwood plantations. The main hardwood plantation species in Victoria are Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens). The main softwood plantation species in Victoria is radiata pine (Pinus radiata).
In 2016 there were about 1.8 million hectares of native forests in the Hume region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt Medium Open (988,400 hectares), Eucalypt Tall Open (485,700 hectares) and Eucalypt Medium Woodland (160,900 hectares). The majority of the native forests were multiple use public forest available for timber production (944,700 hectares), while 553,100 hectares were in conservation reserves and 213,900 hectares were privately managed.
Victoria state data
In 2017–18, the total plantation area in Victoria was 420,600 hectares, comprised of 196,300 hectares of hardwood plantations and 223,400 hectares of softwood plantations.
In 2016, Victoria had 34 sawmills (including 9 softwood sawmills), 8 post and pole processors, 3 wood based panel processors and 5 paper and paperboard processors.
In 2016, there were 7.6 million hectares of native forests in Victoria, comprised mainly of Eucalypt Medium Open (3.1 million hectares), Eucalypt Tall Open (1.4 million hectares) and Eucalypt Mallee Woodland (1.3 million hectares).
In 2017–18, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Victoria was 1.2 million cubic metres, valued at $103.5 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested in Victoria was 3.6 million cubic metres, valued at $262.3 million. The volume of plantation softwood logs harvested in Victoria was 4.3 million cubic metres, valued at $341.5 million.
In 2017–18, the estimated sales and service income generated from the sale of wood products in Victoria was $3.6 billion. Sales and service income for paper and paper products is not available for 2017–18.
In 2016, the Victoria forestry sector employed 15,105 workers (0.60 per cent of the total employed workforce in Victoria) compared with 20,167 (0.74 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes the following categories: forestry and logging, forestry support services, wood product manufacturing and pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing.
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, November 2019, cat. no. 6291.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 15 January 2020.
ABS 2019b Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2017-18, cat. no. 7503.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 15 May 2019.