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

Productivity of Australian broadacre and dairy industries, 2018–19

3 March 2020

Find the latest ABARES estimates of agricultural productivity in the broadacre and dairy industries. This edition provides updated estimates, through to 2018–19.

Disaggregating farm performance statistics by size, 2018–19

3 March 2020

Farm business size is an important indicator of performance. This report provides farm financial performance statistics by different size categories for the broadacre, dairy and vegetable industries.

Using hedonic modelling to analyse farmland price movements

13 December 2019

The Measuring Australian broadacre farmland value: Phase 1 - Statistical infrastructure report contains preliminary findings on the construction of hedonic models to estimate values of Australian farmland.

ICT use in Australian agriculture: A survey of broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms

1 November 2018

New information and communications technology (ICT) could deliver the next wave of productivity growth in Australian agriculture. This report explores the role of ICT and potential barriers to its use on farms. Results from ABARES survey, of over 2200 farmers in 2016–17, are presented for broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms.

Exploring the relationship between farm size and productivity: Evidence from the Australian grains industry, Food Policy Journal

29 March 2018

Farm size has a positive relationship with productivity (i.e. larger farms tend to have higher productivity) and capital hire may make new and advanced technologies more accessible for small farms and bring their productivity closer to that of large farms.

What difference does labour choice make to farm productivity and profitability in the Australian horticulture industry? A comparison between seasonal workers and working holiday makers

February 2018

On average seasonal workers are 20 per cent more productive than backpackers, but their non-wage labour costs are 2.3 times higher. Productivity benefits of hiring seasonal workers likely outweigh the higher non-wage labour costs and deliver profitability gains for farmers, as non-wage costs are generally relatively small.

Last reviewed: 27 February 2020
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