Farm financial performance - South Australia

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

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Average broadacre farm cash income was high in 2014–15 and declined only a little in 2015–16, as a result of slightly lower grain yields and reduced wheat and barley prices.

In 2016–17 broadacre farm cash incomes are projected to increase to average $258,000 per farm. This would be around 80 per cent above the 10-year average to 2015–16.

Increased winter crop production in 2016–17 due to record yields is projected to result in an increase in crop receipts. Higher crop receipts together with an increase in receipts from beef cattle, sheep, lambs and wool (due to higher prices) are projected to result in average farm cash income increasing in all regions in 2016–17.

Higher receipts from lentils also contributed to higher average farm cash incomes for farms in the Murray Lands and Yorke Peninsula region in 2015–16 and 2016–17. Adverse spring weather events including frost, wind and heavy rain reduced grain yields and incomes for some farms.

Real farm cash income, broadacre industries, 199697 to 201617
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for broadacre industry farms in Australia and South Australia from 2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs.

p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Financial performance, all broadacre industries, South Australia, 2014–15 to 2016–17, average per farm
MeasureUnit2014–152015–16pRSE2016–17y
Total cash receipts$602,640586,600(6)628,000
Total cash costs$373,990370,200(7)369,000
Farm cash income$228,650216,400(9)258,000
Farms with negative farm cash income%67(30)12
Farm business profit $84,75079,900(21)118,000
Profit at full equity
– excluding cap. appreciation$127,380121,900(15)160,000
– including cap. appreciation$434,780498,200(19)na
Farm capital at 30 June a$4,749,7105,318,100(7)na
Net capital additions$33,68067,500(78)na
Farm debt at 30 June b$485,970491,500(13)481,000
Change in debt - 1 July to 30 June b%34(140)–3
Equity at 30 June bc$4,088,2204,560,700(8)na
Equity ratio bd%8990(1)na
Farm liquid assets at 30 June b$266,970278,600(14)na
Farm management deposits (FMDs) at 30 June b$117,990137,000(20)na
Share of farms with FMDs at 30 June b%3945(13)na
Rate of returne
– excluding cap. appreciation%2.92.5(13)3.1
– including cap. appreciation%9.810.2(18)na
Off-farm income of owner manager and spouse b$35,35030,500(8)na

a Excludes leased plant and equipment. b Excludes capital appreciation. c Farm capital minus farm debt. d Equity expressed as a percentage of farm capital. e Rate of return to farm capital at 1 July. p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate. RSE Figures in parentheses are standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate provided. na Not available.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Farm cash income of broadacre farms, by region, South Australia, 2014–15 to 2016–17
RegionUnit2014–152015–16pRSE2016–17y
411: SA North Pastoral$255,690279,600(34)378,000
421: SA Eyre Peninsula$299,790218,000(23)286,000
422: SA Murray Lands and Yorke Peninsula$275,210263,900(14)300,000
431: SA South East$126,200144,800(10)173,000

p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

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 South Australian beef industry farms increased from $101,200 to $108,000 per farm in 2015–16. Higher average prices received for beef cattle offset lower turn-off.

In 2016–17 farm cash income of South Australian beef industry farms is projected to decrease to average $102,000 per farm. Beef cattle turn-off is projected to decrease further in 2016–17 as a result of reduced numbers of saleable cattle. Receipts from the sale of cattle is expected to decline despite further increases in saleyard prices for beef cattle. Despite the reduction in farm cash income of South Australian beef industry farms, farm cash income is projected to be around 25 per cent above the 10–year average to 2015–16 of $81,800 per farm.

Real farm cash income, beef industry, 1996–97 to 2016–17
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for beef industry farms in Australia and South Australia from 2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. Farm cash income of South Australian beef farms fell sharply in 2013–14 and has been increasing since then. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs.
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

In 2014–15 higher prices for lambs, adult sheep and wool, together with increased sales of sheep and lambs, resulted in an increase in average farm cash income to $160,300 per farm for South Australian sheep industry farms.

In 2015–16 farm cash income for sheep industry farms increased to average $200,400 per farm due an increase in receipts from the sale of beef cattle, together with a small increase in receipts from the sale of sheep, lambs and wool.

In 2016–17 farm cash income for South Australian sheep industry farms is projected to increase further to average $211,000 per farm as a result of higher wool, lamb and sheep prices. Farm cash income is projected to be around 80 per cent higher than the 10-year average to 2015–16.

Real farm cash income, sheep industry, 1996–97 to 2016–17
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for sheep industry farms in Australia and South Australia from   2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs.
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Incomes of South Australian grains farms decreased in 2015–16 to an average of $243,400 per farm, mainly as a result of lower grain prices and reduced crop production. Increases in receipts for beef cattle and wool were not sufficient to offset lower crop receipts.

Average farm cash income for South Australian grains industry farms is projected to increase to $308,000 per farm in 2016–17, around 60 per cent above the 10-year average to 2015–16.

Increased winter crop production in 2016–17 due to record yields is projected to result in an increase in crop receipts and an overall increase in average total farm cash receipts of around 12 per cent, despite lower wheat and barley prices.

Total cash costs are projected to increase by around 4 per cent, because of increased expenditure on harvesting and marketing the larger 2016–17 winter crop and despite reduced expenditure on interest and fodder.

Real farm cash income, grains industry, 1996–97 to 2016–17
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for grains industry farms in Australia and South Australia from   2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs..
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

 Average farm cash income of South Australian dairy farms decreased from an average of $146,300 per farm in 2014–15 to $131,700 in 2015–16. The decrease in farm cash income was driven by a decline in average farmgate milk prices.

In 2016–17 farm cash income of South Australian dairy industry farms is projected to decline further to an average of $111,000 per farm, around a third below the 10-year average to 2015–16. This reflects the effects of reduced milk production and lower forecast milk prices. Reductions in total cash receipts is projected to be partially offset by lower average cash costs for South Australian dairy farms as a result of lower fodder and feed grain prices.

Real farm cash income, dairy industry, 1996–97 to 2016–17
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for dairy industry farms in Australia and South Australia from   2001–02 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous two paragraphs.

p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Financial performance, South Australia dairy industry 2014–15 to 2016–17 average per farm
MeasureUnit2014–152015–16pRSE2016–17y
Total cash receipts$936,389903,495(10)851,066
Total cash costs$790,122771,783(9)740,564
Farm cash income$146,267131,712(27)110,502
Farms with negative farm cash income%1237(40)33
Farm business profit $10,57018,195(217)-69,562
Profit at full equity
– excluding capital appreciation$96,32694,623(44)3,012
– including capital appreciation$168,443131,461(41)na
Farm capital at 30 June a$4,322,8354,790,437(9)na
Net capital additions$-28,852168,451(47)na
Farm debt at 30 June b$1,165,6231,106,140(15)1,093,668
Change in debt - 1 July to 30 June b%-20(1421)-1
Equity at 30 June bc$3,109,6843,613,515(11)na
Equity ratio bd%7377(4)na
Farm liquid assets at 30 June b$123,807110,199(33)na
Farm management deposits (FMDs) at 30 June b$39,25347,324(52)na
Share of farms with FMDs at 30 June b%1823(48)na
Rate of returne
– excluding capital appreciation%2.22.1(41)0.1
– including capital appreciation%3.92.9(39)na
Off-farm income of owner manager and spouse b$19,51220,760(26)na

a Excludes leased plant and equipment. b Excludes capital appreciation. c Farm capital minus farm debt. d Equity expressed as a percentage of farm capital. e Rate of return to farm capital at 1 July. p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate. RSE Figures in parentheses are standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate provided. na Not available.
Source: ABARES Australian Dairy Industry Survey

In 2014–15 an estimated 320 vegetable-growing farms were operating in South Australia, accounting for around 13 per cent of Australian vegetable-growing farms. Most farms were located in the Mallee, the Riverland and the Adelaide Plains to the north of the city. The average area of vegetable farms in South Australia in 2014–15 was around 242 hectares, of which 29 hectares was planted to vegetables.

Average farm cash income fell by 21 per cent to around $172 000 in 2015–16, 15 per cent lower than the nine-year average (in real terms) for South Australia to 2014–15. In 2015–16, despite an increase in potato receipts, lower prices for most vegetables resulted in lower average receipts.

Real farm cash income, vegetable industry, 2006–07 to 2015–16
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for vegetable industry farms in Australia and South Australia from   2005–06 to 2015–16 in 2015–16 dollars. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous two paragraphs.

p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian vegetable-growing farms survey

Selected physical and financial results, Australian vegetable-growing farms, by state, 2014–15 and 2015–16, average per farm

Indicator

2014–15p

% change from 2013–14

2015–16y

% change from 2014–15

Vegetable cash receipts ($)

775,400 (82) 11 754,000 –3

Area planted to vegetables (hectares)

29 (8) –18 30 3

Quantity of vegetables produced (tonnes)

1,493 (12) 16 1,540 3

Farm cash income ($)

217,100 (47) 50 172,000 –21

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

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.

Farm surveys definitions and methods
Further information about our survey definitions and methods.

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Last reviewed:
03 Oct 2017