About my region is a series of individual profiles of the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries in your region. This regional profile presents an overview of the agriculture sector in the Bendigo region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy, and vegetable industries.
The Bendigo region is located in central Victoria. The region comprises the three local government areas of Greater Bendigo, Loddon and Mount Alexander, parts of Central Goldfields and Macedon Ranges local government areas, and the major regional centre of Bendigo. The region covers a total area of around 11,842 square kilometres or 5 per cent of Victoria's total area and is home to approximately 140,700 people (ABS 2011).
Agricultural land in the Bendigo region occupies 8,784 square kilometres, or 74 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) also occupy 1,352 square kilometres, or 11 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing modified pasture, which occupies 5,592 square kilometres or 47 per cent of the Bendigo region.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2017 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 70,500 people were employed in the Bendigo region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 2 per cent of all people employed in the Victorian agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
Health care and social assistance was the largest employment sector with 13,900 people, followed by retail trade with 8,900 people, and construction with 6,700 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were manufacturing, education and training, and accommodation and food services. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 1,800 people, representing 3 per cent of the region's workforce.
Value of agricultural production
In 2014–15, the gross value of agricultural production in the Bendigo region was $591 million, which was 4.5 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($13.1 billion).
The Bendigo region has a diverse agricultural sector. The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were sheep and lambs ($107 million), followed by pigs ($98 million) and wool ($62 million). These commodities together contributed 45 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.
Number and type of farms
ABS data indicate that in 2014–15 there were 1,412 farms in the Bendigo region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more. The region contains 5 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Bendigo region, 2014–15
|Number of farms||% of region||Number of farms||Contribution of region to state total %|
|Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)||279||19.7||7,740||3.6|
|Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming||271||19.2||2,160||12.6|
|Sheep Farming (Specialised)||249||17.7||2,987||8.3|
|Other Grain Growing||163||11.6||2,939||5.6|
|Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming||107||7.6||1,415||7.5|
Note: Estimated value of agricultural operations $5,000 or more.
Industries that constitute less than 1 per cent of the region's industry are not shown
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Farms in the table above are classified according to the activities that generate most of their value of production. Beef cattle farms (279 farms) were the most common, accounting for 20 per cent of all farms in the Bendigo region, and 4 per cent of all beef farms in Victoria.
Estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) is a measure of the value of production from farms and a measure of their business size. Around 34 per cent of farms in the Bendigo region had an EVAO of less than $50,000. These farms accounted for only 3 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2014–15. In comparison, 14 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $500,000 and accounted for an estimated 65 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Bendigo region in 2014–15.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, beef, sheep, grains, dairy and vegetable farms in Victoria.
ABS 2011, Census of Population and Housing, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.