ABARES predicts broadacre farm incomes to surge

Sheep Central, March 1, 2022

Sheep meat, cattle, wool and grain prices are expected to boost broadacre farm incomes

INCOMES on Australian livestock farms are expected to increase by about 24 percent in 2021-22 to an average of $163,000 per farm with higher receipts from beef cattle and wool.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said a combination of good seasonal conditions and prices have led to improved farm performance for broadacre and dairy farms.

ABARES released its latest survey report on farm performance for broadacre and dairy farms, from 2019-20 to 2021-22 to coincide with its annual outlook conference.

For Australia as a whole, average farm cash income for all broadacre farms is projected to increase by 34pc in 2021-22 — from $208,000 per farm in 2020-21 to $278,000 in 2021-22. This would take average farm cash income in 2021-22 to around 56pc above the longer-term average of $178,000 per farm in real terms for the 10 years to 2020-21, ABARES said.

Incomes on cropping farms are expected to increase by around 40pc in 2021-22 to $572,000 per farm with good rainfall and high grain prices contributing to increased crop receipts in all states.

At the national level, ABARES said average farm business profit (farm cash income adjusted for changes in livestock and grain inventories, as well as capital depreciation and the imputed value of family labour) is projected to increase from an average of $101,000 per farm in 2020-21 to $183,000 in 2021-22. This increase is greater than the increase in farm cash income because of increases in the value of livestock inventories and grain held on farm at 30 June in response to consecutive good seasons, ABARES said.

ABARES assistant secretary Peter Gooday said the latest farm financial performance results painted a positive picture overall.

But he said the projected increases in farm income will be tempered by higher prices for fertilisers and fuel, which are expected to be felt more fully in 2022-23.

“There are currently around 50,000 commercial scale broadacre farms and around 5000 dairy farms in Australia, and while it’s not all smooth sailing, it’s good to see average incomes above the long-term average for the second year in a row.”

The farm survey report and interactive data dashboard can be viewed at

ABARES has also released their new Farm Data Portal. This interactive data tool provides a ‘one stop shop’ access to ABARES farm survey data. The tool includes ABARES historical farm performance data for broadacre and dairy farms, productivity estimates, modelled outputs from the ABARES farmpredict model, and up-to-date forecasts of farm financial performance.

The Farm Data Portal is now available as a public beta and can be accessed at

ABARES has also released its latest agricultural productivity estimates, available at


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