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Farm financial performance – Tasmania

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

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In 2016–17 average farm cash income for broadacre farmers decreased by 10 per cent (Table 1) with declines in receipts for beef cattle, sheep and lambs as a result of reduced turn-off and lower receipts from crops, particularly oilseed poppies. Farm cash income for broadacre farms is estimated to have increased to $174,000 per farm in 2017–18 (Figure 1) as a result increases in production and prices of wheat, barley, sheep, lambs and wool. This is around 74 per cent above the 10-year average to 2016–17 and the highest in over 20 years.

Figure 1 Real farm cash income, broadacre industries, 1997–98 to 2017–18
average per farm
The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.

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

Table 1 Financial performance, all broadacre industries, Tasmania, 2015–16 to 2017–18
average per farm

Measure

Unit

2015–16

2016–17p

RSE

2017–18y

Total cash receipts

$

480,390

453,500

(6)

493,000

Total cash costs

$

324,050

313,000

(7)

319,000

Farm cash income

$

156,340

140,500

(10)

174,000

Farms with negative farm cash income

%

  7

  16

(38)

  6

Farm business profit

$

17,210

73,500

(17)

101,000

Profit at full equity

    - excluding capital appreciation

$

53,710

108,900

(13)

138,000

    - including capital appreciation

$

195,770

156,300

(22)

na

Farm capital at 30 June a

$

4,648,110

4,589,500

(6)

na

Net capital additions

$

–31,210

22,300

(234)

na

Farm debt at 30 June b

$

481,070

641,900

(15)

643,000

Change in debt - 1 July to 30 June b

%

–3

10

(58)

4

Equity at 30 June bc

$

3,661,260

4,164,300

(7)

na

Equity ratio bd

%

  88

  87

(2)

na

Farm liquid assets at 30 June b

$

179,060

176,900

(21)

na

Farm management deposits (FMDs) at 30 June b

$

73,830

65,000

(33)

na

Share of farms with FMDs at 30 June b

%

  28

  25

(28)

na

Rate of return e

    - excluding capital appreciation

%

1.2

2.4

(12)

2.9

    - including capital appreciation

%

4.3

3.5

(21)

na

Off-farm income of owner manager and spouse b

$

28,230

36,300

(16)

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

Average farm cash incomes of Tasmanian beef industry farms decreased from $174,170 to $143,500 per farm in 2016–17, as a result of declined receipts for beef cattle. Receipts from the sale of cattle declined as farmers reduced beef cattle turn-off despite further increases in saleyard prices for beef cattle.

In 2017–18 farm cash income of Tasmanian beef industry farms is estimated to have decreased further to average $116,000 per farm ((Figure 2), as a result of decreased beef cattle receipts. Receipts from the sale of cattle is estimated to have declined because of a decline in saleyard prices for beef cattle and reduced beef cattle turn-of. Despite this reduction, average farm cash income of Tasmanian beef industry farms is around 39 per cent above the 10–year average to 2016–17 of $83,300 per farm.

Figure 2 Real farm cash income, beef industry, 1997–98 to 2017–18
average per farm
The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

In 2016–17 farm cash income for sheep industry farms increased to average $148,800 per farm as a result of high wool, lamb and sheep prices.

In 2017–18 farm cash income for Tasmanian sheep industry farms is estimated to have increased further to average $224,000 per farm (Figure 3) and the highest in over 20 years, an estimated 95 per cent higher than the 10-year average to 2016–17. This is a result of higher receipts for lambs, sheep and wool resulting from higher prices and increased sales of lambs and sheep, and increased wool production.

Figure 3 Real farm cash income, sheep industry, 1997–98 to 2017–18
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for sheep industry farms in Australia and Tasmania. Farm cash income has been consistently positive. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraphs.
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey

Average farm cash income of Tasmanian dairy farms decreased from an average of $133,800 per farm in 2015–16 to $97,500 in 2016–17 (Table 2). The decrease in farm cash income was driven by a decline in average farmgate milk prices and a reduction in milk production. Lower milk receipts were partly offset by reduced expenditure on fodder as a result of lower feed grain prices and reduced expenditure on repairs and maintenance.

In 2017–18 average farm cash income is estimated to have doubled to $200,000 per farm (Figure 4) as a result of increased milk prices per litre and increased average production per farm. This is around 30 per cent above the 10-year average to 2016–17.

Figure 4 Real farm cash income, dairy industry, 1997–98 to 2017–18
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for dairy industry farms in Australia and Tasmania 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.
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional estimate.
Source: ABARES Australian Dairy Industry Survey
Table 2 Financial peformance, Tasmania industry 2015–16 to 2017–18
average per farm

Measure

Unit

2015–16

2016–17p

RSE

2017–18y

Total cash receipts

$

1,030,490

926,900

(7)

1,078,000

Total cash costs

$

896,700

829,400

(7)

878,000

Farm cash income

$

133,790

97,500

(30)

200,000

Farms with negative farm cash income

%

  20

  21

(54)

  22

Farm business profit

$

–470

31,700

(84)

106,000

Profit at full equity

    - excluding capital appreciation

$

107,290

139,100

(24)

224,000

    - including capital appreciation

$

111,510

201,000

(29)

na

Farm capital at 1 July a

$

6,062,290

5,805,200

(8)

na

Net capital additions

$

110,630

159,800

(66)

na

Farm debt at 30 June b

$

1,642,070

1,587,600

(13)

1,782,000

Change in debt - 1 July to 30 June b

%

5.0

3.0

(55)

2.0

Equity at 30 June bc

$

4,192,820

3,914,100

(10)

na

Equity ratio bd

%

  72

  71

(4)

na

Farm liquid assets at 30 June b

$

52,090

47,000

(36)

na

Farm management deposits (FMDs) at 30 June b

$

25,330

14,800

(74)

na

Share of farms with FMDs at 30 June b

%

  12

  3

(76)

na

Rate of return e

    - excluding capital appreciation

%

1.8

2.5

(21)

3.7

    - including capital appreciation

%

1.9

3.6

(27)

na

Off-farm income of owner manager and partner b

$

9,760

15,800

(40)

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 2015–16 Tasmania had an estimated 240 vegetable-growing farms, accounting for around 10 per cent of Australian vegetable-growing farms. Most farms were located in the north of the state, along the coastal fringe and the northern midlands. The average area of Tasmanian vegetable-growing farms was around 269 hectares, with 30 hectares planted to vegetables. Vegetable production accounted for 15 per cent of the gross value of agricultural production in Tasmania (ABS 2017b).

In 2015–16 average farm cash income for Tasmanian vegetable-growing farms declined by 11 per cent to $169,900 per farm. Total vegetable receipts increased by 7 per cent, largely as a result of an increase in the average area planted to potatoes and increased production per farm resulting in higher receipts for potatoes. Carrot and cabbage receipts also contributed to the increase in vegetable receipts. Total cash costs increased by 6 per cent, mainly because of increased expenditure on hired labour, repairs and maintenance, and crop and pasture chemicals.

Average farm cash income is projected to increase in 2016–17 by around 24 per cent. Total vegetable receipts are projected to have increased by around 18 per cent, primarily because of increases in potato and onion receipts. Increases in the cost of fertiliser, seed, hired labour, and crop and pasture chemicals contributed to projected increases in average total cash costs in 2016–17.

Table 3 Selected physical and financial results, vegetable-growing farms, Tasmania, 2015–16 and 2016–17
average per farm
Indicator2015–16pRSE% change from 2014–152016–17y% change from 2015–16
Vegetable cash receipts ($)468,500(12)7552,00018
Area planted to vegetables (hectares)30(6)128–5
Quantity of vegetables produced (tonnes)1,479(7)–31,5324
Farm cash income ($)169,900(17)–11211,00024

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

Figure 5 Farm cash income, vegetable-growing farms, 2006–07 to 2016–17
average per farm
Shows farm cash income for vegetable industry farms in Australia and Tasmania 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.
p Preliminary estimate. y Provisional 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:
04 Jun 2018