Farm financial performance – Queensland

​​​​​​​​​​​​Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, beef, sheep, grains, dairy, vegetable, and sugarcane farms in Queensland.

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Farm cash incomes of all Queensland regions increased in 2014–15 except for the West and South West regions. This increase was achieved through higher receipts from the sale of beef cattle, wheat and pulses. Average broadacre farm cash income in Queensland is projected to have increased by a further 34 per cent in 2015–16 to an average of $166,000 a farm. This is around 80 per cent above the 10–year average to 2014–15.

For Queensland broadacre farms, average receipts from beef cattle are expected to have increased by around 14 per cent and crop receipts by around 30 per cent, resulting in average total farm receipts increasing by 15 per cent in 2015–16. Average total cash costs are projected to have increased by around 7 per cent in 2015–16 mainly because of an increase in beef cattle purchases in some regions and increased spending on repairs and maintenance, fertiliser, hired labour and crop and pasture chemicals.

Despite reductions in cattle turn-off, increases in average farm cash income are projected for all Queensland regions in 2015–16 except North Queensland Coastal. This is driven by further increases in beef cattle prices and increased crop receipts resulting mainly from above average winter grain yields and increased grain legume production in southern Queensland.

Real farm cash income, broadacre industries, 2001–02 to 2015–16, average per farm
Shows farm cash income for broadacre industry farms in Australia and Queensland from 2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
Note: y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Financial performance, Queensland broadacre industries 2013–14 to 2015–16 average per farm
Performance indicator2013–142014–15pRSE2015–16y
Total cash receipts ($) 372,830 416,100 (5) 480,000
Total cash costs ($) 301,620 294,500 (6) 314,000
Farm cash income ($) 71,200 121,600 (8) 166,000
Farms with negative farm cash income (%) 30 20 (15) 20
Farm business profit ($) -84,100 -47,400 (27) 34,000
Profit at full equity a ($) -34,720 -1,000 (1,302) 77,000
Farm capital at 30 June b ($) 5,358,570 5,369,500 (3) na
Farm debt at 30 June c ($) 691,350 722,000 (10) 704,000
Equity ratio c d (%) 86 86 (2) na
Rate of return a e (%) -0.6 0.0 (1,302) 1.4
Off-farm income c f ($) 27,780 29,300 (10) na

Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey
RSE Standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate provided
p Preliminary estimate
y Provisional estimate
a Excludes capital appreciation
b Excludes leased plant and equipment
c Average per responding farm
d Equity expressed as a percentage of farm capital
e Rate of return to farm capital at 1 July
f Off-farm income of owner manager and spouse
na Not available

Farm cash income of Queenslands broadacre farms, by region, 2014–15 to 2015–16 average per farm
Regionunit2014–15pRSE2015–16y
311: QLD Cape York and the Gulf $331,000(26)633,000
312: QLD West and South West$133,000(47)176,000
313: QLD Central North$140,000(31)169,000
314: QLD Charleville – Longreach$188,000(17)263,000
321: QLD Eastern Darling Downs$97,000(18)97,000
322: QLD Darling Downs and Central Highlands$162,000(12)223,000
331: QLD South Queensland Coastal$58,000(21)106,000
332: QLD North Queensland Coastal$96,000(15)84,000

Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey
RSE Standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate provided
p Preliminary estimate
y Provisional estimate

Shows the ABARES high rainfall zone (eastern seaboard, South Australian south-east coast and south-west coast of Western Australia); wheat–sheep zone (south-east Queensland excluding the coast; central New South Wales, including the North West Slopes and Plains, Central West and Riverina, northern Victoria, South Australian Eyre Peninsula, Murraylands and Yorke Peninsula and Western Australian wheat belt ); and pastoral zone (Northern Territory, northern and central Western Australia, northern and central South Australia, western New South Wales, and northern and western Queensland). The map also shows the ABARES regions within these zones.
Note: Each region is identified by a unique code of three digits. The first digit identifies the state or territory, the second digit identifies the zone and the third digit identifies the region. Source: ABARES

Average farm cash incomes of Queensland beef industry farms increased by around 60 per cent in 2014–15 to average $116,000 a farm. This is around 30 per cent above the 10–year average to 2013–14. Higher beef cattle prices, together with an increase in beef cattle turn-off, resulted in increased beef cattle receipts in Queensland beef industry farms.

Average farm cash income of Queensland beef industry farms is projected to have increased to $152,000 a farm in 2015–16. This is around 70 per cent above the average for the 10–years to 2014–15. A further rise in the average price for beef cattle is projected to have resulted in increased total cash receipts for beef cattle farms, despite lower cattle turn-off in 2015–16. Farm cash costs for Queensland beef industry farms are expected to have remained largely unchanged in 2015–16.

Real farm cash income, beef industry, 2001–02 to 2015–16, average per farm
Shows farm cash income for beef industry farms in Australia and Queensland from 2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
Note: y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Farm cash income of Queensland grains industry farms increased by around 78 per cent in 2014–15, averaging $169,000 a farm. This increase was partly realised through increased cash receipts from pulses and oilseeds in 2014–15. Higher cattle turn-off and higher cattle prices in 2014–15 also contributed to increased cash receipts of mixed livestock and crop enterprises. Total cash costs remained mostly unchanged from 2013–14.

In 2015–16, average farm cash income of Queensland grains industry farms is expected to have increased to $236,000 a farm. This is around 97 per cent higher than the 10-year average to 2014–15. This increase in farm cash income mainly reflects increased crop receipts as a result of above average winter grain yields and increased grain legume production in southern Queensland. Greater receipts from beef cattle, lamb and wool are also expected to contribute to higher total cash receipts in mixed livestock-crop enterprises. Total cash receipts are expected to have increased by around 27 per cent to an average of $660,000 a farm, while total cash costs are expected to have increased by 20 per cent, averaging $424,000 a farm.

Real farm cash income, grains industry, 2001–02 to 2015–16, average per farm
Shows farm cash income for grains industry farms in Australia and Queensland from   2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
Note: y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Average farm cash incomes of Queensland dairy farms increased in 2014–15 as a result of higher milk prices offsetting a reduction in milk production and higher farm cash costs. Average farm cash incomes of dairy farms increased from $73,000 to $91,800 a farm.

In 2015–16, average farm cash income of Queensland dairy industry farms is projected to have declined slightly to $91,000 a farm, which is 22 per cent below the 10–year average to 2014–15. This reduction is mainly a result of increased cash costs. Average total cash costs are expected to have increased to $449,000 in 2015–16, mainly driven by increased expenditure on purchased fodder and repairs and maintenance.

Real farm cash income, dairy industry, 2001–02 to 2015–16, average per farm
Shows farm cash income for dairy industry farms in Australia and Queensland from   2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
Note: y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Financial performance, New South Wales dairy industry 2013–14 to 2015–16 average per farm
Performance indicator2013–142014–15pRSE2015–16y
Total cash receipts ($) 510,990541,500(7)540,000
Total cash costs ($)437,710449,700(7)449,000
Farm cash income ($)73,28091,800(24)91,000
Farms with negative farm cash income (%)3430(44)32
Farm business profit ($)–17,800–8,000(284)–34,000
Profit at full equity a ($)25,77043,200(41)15,000
Farm capital at 30 June b ($)3,271,2203,592,300(6)na
Farm debt at 30 June c ($)554,010648,900(17)621,000
Equity ratio c d (%)8382(3)na
Rate of return a e (%)0.81.3(42)0.4
Off-farm income c f ($)32,11016,800(17)na

Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey
RSE Standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate provided
p Preliminary estimate
y Provisional estimate
a Excludes capital appreciation
b Excludes leased plant and equipment
c Average per responding farm
d Equity expressed as a percentage of farm capital
e Rate of return to farm capital at 1 July
f Off-farm income of owner manager and spouse
na Not available

In 2014–15 an estimated 600 vegetable-growing farms were operating in Queensland, accounting for around 24 per cent of Australian vegetable-growing farms. Most farms were located in the Darling Downs, around Bundaberg and Bowen and in the Burdekin delta. The average area of vegetable farms in Queensland in 2014–15 was around 365 hectares, of which 43 hectares was planted to vegetables. Vegetable production accounted for 8 per cent of the gross value of agricultural production in Queensland, compared with 6 per cent nationally (ABS 2016).

Average farm cash income is estimated to have increased by around 30 per cent to $163 000 in 2015–16 (Table 5), in line with the nine-year average farm cash income (in real terms) for Queensland to 2014–15. In the same year, higher receipts for potatoes were partly offset by lower receipts for tomatoes.

Selected physical and financial results, Queensland vegetable-growing farms, 2014–15 and 2015–16, average per farm
Indicator2014–15pRSE% change from 2013–142015–16y% change from 2014–15
Vegetable cash receipts ($)876,000(15)6905,0003
Area planted to vegetables (hectares)43(18)–1040–7
Quantity of vegetables produced (tonnes)909(16)10886–3
Farm cash income ($)125,400(25)–3163,00030

p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Note: Figures in parentheses are standard errors expressed as a percentage of the estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian vegetable-growing farms survey

Real farm cash income, vegetable industry 2001–02 to 2014–15, average per farm
Shows farm cash income for vegetable industry farms in Australia and Queensland from   2005–06 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
Note: y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Vegetable Growing Farms Survey

The Australian sugarcane industry is mainly located along Australia's north-eastern coastline from Grafton in northern New South Wales to Mossman in Far North Queensland. In 2013–14 there were an estimated 3,508 sugarcane farm businesses in Australia (farm businesses with an estimated value of agricultural operations of at least $30,000).

Queensland and New South Wales sugarcane
regions
A map showing the location of Queensland and New South Wales sugarcane regions.
Source: ABARES

Farm cash income of Australian sugarcane growing farm businesses averaged $89,700 in 2013–14. Farm cash income ranged from an average of $14,900 for businesses with less than 50 hectares planted to sugarcane, to an average of $384,200 for those with more than 250 hectares of sugarcane.

Average farm cash incomes varied across regions, mainly in line with the proportion of large and small farms, as well as with differences in sugarcane yield, Commercial Cane Sugar (CCS) percentage and regional production conditions. In 2013–14 average farm cash income was highest in Far North Queensland, averaging $120,300 a farm.

In 2014–15, lower prices for sugar and increases in farm cash costs are estimated to have reduced farm cash income for the majority of sugarcane businesses. Overall, average farm cash income of sugarcane farm businesses is estimated to have declined from $89,700 a farm in 2013–14 to $70,000 in 2014–15.

Farm cash incomes declined most in southern Queensland regions because of dry seasonal conditions and in the area around Cairns as a result of Cyclone Ita in 2014. In contrast, farm cash incomes are estimated to have increased in the Burdekin region as a result of increased sugarcane production.

Physical and financial performance, sugarcane growing farm businesses, Australia, 2013–14 and 2014–15 average per farm
Selected estimates 2013–142014–15 y
Area planted to sugarcane (ha) 120121
Sugarcane yield (t/ha)8287
Sugarcane produced (t)9,88010,534
Total cash receipts ($)462,000449,000
Total cash costs ($)372,300379,000
Farm cash income ($)87,70070,000
Rate of return a (%)0.70.0

Source: ABARES Australian Sugarcane Farm Businesses Survey
a rate of return on capital at July 1, excluding capital expenditure
y provisional estimate

Physical and financial performance, sugarcane growing farm businesses, by region, 2013–14 to 2014–15 average per farm
Sugar region Financial year Area (ha)Yield (t/ha)Production (t)Total cash receipts ($)Total cash costs ($)Farm cash income ($)Rate of return (%) a
Far North Queensland
2013–141239411,560534,100413,900120,3001.7
2014–15 y1288911,381463,000418,00045,000-0.7
Herbert
2013–14118769,018388,000291,20096,9001.1
2014–15 y121769,167373,000287,00086,0000.5
Burdekin
2013–1415710216,019682,600578,700103,8000.9
2014–15 y15611517,944707,000583,000124,0001.3
Mackay
2013–14128739,333433,800351,60082,1001.3
2014–15 y1278010,146418,000355,00062,0000.6
Bundaberg
2013–14108737,906522,900428,80094,1000.0
2014–15 y111677,486488,000464,00024,000–2.1

Source: ABARES Australian Sugarcane Farm Businesses Survey
a rate of return excluding capital appreciation
y provisional estimate

These financial performance results were sourced from ABARES survey of Australian sugarcane growing farm businesses, which collected a comprehensive set of financial, physical and management information on farm businesses that grow sugarcane.

Major financial performance indicators

  • Total cash receipts: total revenues received by the business during the financial year.
  • Total cash costs: payments made by the business for materials and services and for permanent and casual hired labour (excluding owner manager, partner and family labour).
  • Farm cash income:total cash receipts - total cash costs
  • Farm business profit:farm cash income + changes in trading stocks - depreciation - imputed labour costs
  • Profit at full equity: return produced by all the resources used in the business, farm business profit + rent + interest + finance lease payments - depreciation on leased items
  • Rate of return: return to all capital used, profit at full equity * 100 / total opening capital
  • Equity ratio: Farm capital minus farm debt expressed as a percentage of farm capital

Industry types

  • Grains: farms mainly engaged in producing broadacre crops such as wheat, coarse grains, oilseeds and pulses, and including farms running sheep and/or beef cattle in conjunction with substantial broadacre crop activity.
  • Sheep: farms mainly engaged in running sheep.
  • Beef: farms mainly engaged in running beef cattle.
  • Dairy: farms mainly engaged in milk production.
  • Vegetable: farms mainly engaged in growing vegetables.

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Last reviewed:
14 Jun 2017