About my region – Shepparton 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 sector in the Shepparton region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy and vegetable industries.

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Regional overview

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).

Broad land use in the Shepparton region
Shows a map of broad land use in the Warrnambool and South West 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 May 2020 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 65,700 people were employed in the Shepparton region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 10 per cent of all people employed in the Victorian agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.

Health care and social assistance sector was the largest employment sector with 9,900 people, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing with 8,800 people, and retail trade with 8,100 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were manufacturing; construction; and education and training. Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector represented 13 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Shepparton region, May 2020
shepparton_empl_2020may.png
Note: Annual average of the preceding 4 quarters.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 6291.0, Labour Force, Australia 2020

Agricultural sector

Value of agricultural production

In 2018–19, the gross value of agricultural production in the Shepparton region was $1.9 billion, which was 12 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($15.9 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 ($558 million), followed by cattle and calves ($262 million) and hay ($176 million). These commodities together contributed 52 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region. In 2018–19 the Shepparton region accounted for 96 per cent ($64 million) of the total value of Victoria's pear production.

Value of agricultural production, Shepparton region, 2018–19
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 2020

Number and type of farms

ABS data indicate that in 2017–18 there were 2,115 farms in the Shepparton region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 11 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Shepparton region, 2017–18
Industry classification Shepparton region Victoria
Number of farms % of Region Number of farms Contribution of region
to state total
%
Dairy Cattle Farming        848 40.1      3,547 23.9
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)        356 16.9      4,975 7.2
Other Grain Growing        215 10.2      1,986 10.8
Sheep Farming (Specialised)        184 8.7      2,945 6.2
Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming        130 6.1      1,956 6.6
Apple and Pear Growing        110 5.2          159 69.1
Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming           69 3.3      1,286 5.4
Stone Fruit Growing           58 2.7          169 34.3
Horse Farming           27 1.3          382 7.0
Pig Farming           26 1.2          100 25.5
Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)           25 1.2          443 5.6
Other           67 3.2      1,791 3.8
Total agriculture     2,115 100    19,739 10.7

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. Dairy cattle farms (848 farms) were the most common, accounting for 40 per cent of all farms in the Shepparton region, and 24 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 26 per cent of farms in the Shepparton region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 4 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2017–18. In comparison, 16 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 55 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Shepparton region in 2017–18.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Shepparton region, 2017–18
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Warrnambool and South West region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with an EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2017–18 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 2019

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 Shepparton region was about 400 hectares, comprised of 330 hectares of hardwood plantations and less than 100 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 93,900 hectares of native forests in the Shepparton region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt Medium Open (47,400 hectares), Eucalypt Medium Woodland (28,600 hectares) and Eucalypt Tall Open (10,500 hectares). The majority of the native forests were in conservation reserves (51,500 hectares), while 19,800 hectares were privately managed and 18,400 hectares were on multiple use public forest available for timber production.

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.

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 2020a, Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, May 2020, cat. no. 6291.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 30 June 2020.

ABS 2020b, Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, 2018-19, cat. no. 7503.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 29 May 2020.



 
Last reviewed: 22 July 2020
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