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About my region – Bendigo Victoria

​​​​​​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.

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Regional overview

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 157,800 people (ABS 2018).

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.

Broad land use in the Bendigo region
Shows a map of broad land use in the Bendigo region. It includes a legend which shows the broad land use categories— nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use; grazing native vegetation; production forestry; grazing modified pastures; plantation forestry; cropping; horticulture; intensive uses and water. This map is discussed in the above paragraph.
Source: Catchment scale land use of Australia ABARES 2017

Employment

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the November 2018 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 76,600 people were employed in the Bendigo region. The region accounts for 2 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 3 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 14,300 people, followed by manufacturing with 9,300 people, and retail trade with 8,400 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were construction; education and training; and public administration and safety. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 2,500 people, representing 3 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Bendigo region, November 2018
Shows the number of people employed in the Greater Adelaide region by industry in thousands. The figure is discussed in the previous two paragraphs.
Note: Annual average of the preceding 4 quarters.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 6291.0, Labour Force, Australia 2018

Agricultural sector

Value of agricultural production

IIn 2016–17, the gross value of agricultural production in the Bendigo region was $825 million, which was 6 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($14 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 ($143 million), followed by hay ($89 million) and poultry ($86 million). These commodities together contributed 38 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.​

Value of agricultural production, Bendigo region, 2016–17
Shows the gross value of agricultural production in the region in millions of dollars. The figure is discussed in the previous three paragraphs.
Note: The graph shows only data published by the ABS. Some values were not published by the ABS to ensure confidentiality. The "Other commodities" category includes the total value of commodities not published as well as those with small values.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, cat. no. 7503.0, Value of agricultural commodities produced, Australia 2018

Number and type of farms

ABS data indicate that in 2016–17 there were 1,119 farms in the Bendigo region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 5 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Bendigo region, 2016–17
Industry classificationBendigo regionVictoria
Number of farms% of regionNumber of farmsContribution of region to state total %
Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming        332 29.6      1,920 17.3
Sheep Farming (Specialised)        230 20.6      2,795 8.2
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)        134 12.0      5,642 2.4
Other Grain Growing        100 9.0      2,320 4.3
Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming           62 5.5      1,283 4.8
Horse Farming           51 4.6          604 8.4
Beekeeping           46 4.1            53 87.4
Dairy Cattle Farming           42 3.8      3,928 1.1
Pig Farming           29 2.6          105 28.0
Olive Growing           15 1.4            49 31.7
Apple and Pear Growing           15 1.3          205 7.2
Grape Growing           14 1.2          846 1.6
Other           48 4.3      2,111 2.3
Total agriculture    1,119 100   21,860 5.1

Note: Estimated value of agricultural operations $40,000 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. Grain-sheep or grain-beef cattle farms (332 farms) were the most common, accounting for 30 per cent of all farms in the Bendigo region, and 17 per cent of all grain-sheep or grain-beef cattle 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 24 per cent of farms in the Bendigo region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 3 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2016–17. In comparison, 24 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $1 million and accounted for an estimated 64 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Bendigo region in 2016–17.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Bendigo region, 2016–17
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Bendigo region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with an EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2016–17 are included in these data. The scope of ABS Rural Environment and Agricultural Collections changed in 2015–16 to include only agricultural businesses with an EVAO of $40,000 or greater.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Farm financial performance

Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms in Victoria.

References

ABS 2018, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2017, cat. no. 3235.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 10 January 2019.

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Last reviewed:
22 Jan 2019