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.
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 November 2019 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 68,000 people were employed in the Shepparton 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.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector was the largest employment sector with 10,200 people, representing 15 per cent of the region's workforce. Health care and social assistance was the second largest employment sector with 9,300 people, followed by retail trade with 8,600 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were manufacturing; construction; and accommodation and food services.
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 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.
|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|
|Vegetable Growing (Outdoors)||25||1.2||443||5.6|
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.
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 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.
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.