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 and forestry sectors in the Hume region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy, and vegetable industries.
The Hume region of Victoria is located in the north east of the state. The region comprises the 10 local government areas of Alpine, Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, Mitchell, Murrindindi, Strathbogie, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga, and parts of Greater Shepparton and Yarra Ranges. The Hume region includes the major regional centres of Wangaratta and Wodonga. The region covers a total area of around 34,004 square kilometres or 15 per cent of Victoria's total area and is home to approximately 159,300 people (ABS, 2011).
Agricultural land in the Hume region occupies 14,942 square kilometres, or 44 per cent of the region. Areas classified as conservation and natural environments (nature conservation, protected areas and minimal use) also occupy 7,246 square kilometres, or 21 per cent of the region. The most common land use by area is grazing modified pasture, which occupies 12,335 square kilometres or 36 per cent of the Hume region.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from the February 2017 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 83,800 people were employed in the Hume region. The region accounts for 3 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 13,000 people, followed by construction with 8,900 people and retail trade with 8,700 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and education and training. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 3,200 people, representing 4 per cent of the region's workforce.
Value of agricultural production
In 2014–15, the gross value of agricultural production in the Hume region was $821 million, which was 6 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($13.1 billion).
The Hume region has a diverse agricultural sector. The most important commodities in the region based on the gross value of agricultural production were cattle and calves ($275 million), followed by sheep and lambs ($126 million) and milk ($99 million). These commodities together contributed 61 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 3,467 farms in the Hume region with an estimated value of agricultural operations of $5,000 or more. The region contains 13 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.
Number of farms, by industry classification, Hume region, 2014–15
Number of farms
% of region
Number of farms
Contribution of region to state total %
Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)
Sheep Farming (Specialised)
Dairy Cattle Farming
Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming
Other Grain Growing
Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming
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 (1,888 farms) were the most common, accounting for 54 per cent of all farms in the Hume region, and 24 per cent of all 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 37 per cent of farms in the Hume region had an EVAO of less than $50,000. These farms accounted for only 5 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2014–15. In comparison, 6 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $500,000 and accounted for an estimated 39 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Hume region in 2014–15.
Farm financial performance
Estimates of financial performance are available for all broadacre, beef, sheep, grains, dairy and vegetable farms in
In 2010–11, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Hume region was approximately 66,000 hectares, comprised of approximately 6,000 hectares of hardwood plantations and 60,000 hectares of softwood plantations. The main hardwood species planted is blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and the main softwood species planted is radiata pine (Pinus radiata).
In 2011, there were approximately 1.8 million hectares of native forests in the Hume region, comprised mainly of Eucalypt medium open (999,000 hectares), Eucalypt tall open (486,800 hectares) and Eucalypt medium woodland (161,600 hectares) forest types. The majority of the native forests are multiple-use public forest available for timber production (958,700 hectares), approximately 494,500 hectares are in nature conservation reserves, and approximately 293,500 hectares are privately managed (refer to figure below). Major sawmills are located at Benalla, while wood-based panel mills are located at Myrtleford and Wangaratta.
In 2013–14, the total plantation area in Victoria was approximately 433,100 hectares, comprised of approximately 206,000 hectares of hardwood plantations and 226,000 hectares of softwood plantations and 1,100 hectares of other plantations. The main hardwood species planted is blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus), and the main softwood species planted is radiata pine (Pinus radiata).
In 2014–15, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested was 1.3 million cubic metres valued at $109 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested was 2.8 million cubic metres valued at $197 million. The volume of softwood harvested was 3.9 million cubic metres valued at $280 million.
Total sales and service income in the Victorian forest and wood product industry was estimated at approximately $6.1 billion in 2013–14, of which $3.6 billion was from the sale of paper and paper products, and the remaining $2.6 billion was generated from other wood product sales.
In 2011, the Victorian forestry sector employed 21,826 workers (0.9 per cent of the total employed workforce in Victoria) compared with 23,672 (1.1 per cent) in 2006. The number of people employed includes forestry support services and timber wholesaling.
ABS 2011, Census of Population and Housing, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra.