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About my region – Hume 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 and forestry sectors in the Hume region and the recent financial performance of the Victorian broadacre, dairy, and vegetable industries.

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Regional overview

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 171,700 people (ABS 2017).

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.

Broad land use in the Hume region
Shows a map of broad land use in the Hume 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 May 2018 Labour Force Survey indicate that around 87,200 people were employed in the Hume region. The region accounts for 3 per cent of total employment in Victoria and 4 per cent of all people employed in the Victorian agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.

Retail trade was the largest employment sector with 11,600 people, followed by manufacturing with 11,100 people, and health care and social assistance with 10,100 people. Other important employment sectors in the region were construction; accommodation and food services; and education and training. The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employed 3,600 people, representing 4 per cent of the region's workforce.

Employment profile, Hume region, May 2018
Shows the number of people employed in the Hume 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

In 2016–17, the gross value of agricultural production in the Hume region was $828 million, which was 6 per cent of the total gross value of agricultural production in Victoria ($14 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 ($243 million), followed by sheep and lambs ($135 million) and poultry ($82 million). These commodities together contributed 56 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in the region.

Value of agricultural production, Hume 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 2015–16 there were 2,579 farms in the Hume region with an estimated value of agricultural ​operations of $40,000 or more. The region contains 13 per cent of all farm businesses in Victoria.

Number of farms, by industry classification, Hume region, 2015–16

Industry classification

Hume region

Victoria

Number of farms

% of region

Number of farms

Contribution of region to state total %

Beef Cattle Farming (Specialised)

1,199

46.5

4,291

27.9

Sheep Farming (Specialised)

347

13.4

2,797

12.4

Sheep-Beef Cattle Farming

       250

9.7

    1,245

20.1

Dairy Cattle Farming

       241

9.3

    4,316

5.6

Horse Farming

       125

4.8

         477

26.2

Grain-Sheep or Grain-Beef Cattle Farming

       107

4.2

    1,796

6.0

Grape Growing

          78

3.0

        838

9.3

Other Grain Growing

          40

1.6

    2,076

1.9

Other Crop Growing nec

          29

1.1

         371

7.8

Other

       163

6.3

    2,326

7.0

Total agriculture

    2,579

100

20,532

12.6

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. nec Not elsewhere classified.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017

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 38 per cent of farms in the Hume region had an EVAO between $50,000 and $150,000. These farms accounted for only 11 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in 2015–16. In comparison, 16 per cent of farms in the region had an EVAO of more than $500,000 and accounted for an estimated 52 per cent of the total value of agricultural operations in the Hume region in 2015–16.

Distribution of farms by estimated value of agricultural operations, Hume region, 2015–16
Shows share of farms and share of value of agricultural operations in the Hume region. The figure is discussed in the previous paragraph.
Note: Only farms with an EVAO of $50,000 or more in 2015–16 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 2017

Farm financial performance

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

Forestry sector

In 2014–15, the most recent year for which regional data are available, the total plantation area in the Hume region was 64,200 hectares, comprised of 6,400 hectares of hardwood plantations and 57,800 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 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 were multiple-use public forests available for timber production (958,700 hectares), 494,500 hectares were in nature conservation reserves, and 293,500 hectares were privately managed. Major sawmills are located at Benalla, while wood-based panel mills are located at Myrtleford and Wangaratta.

In 2015–16, the total plantation area in Victoria was 423,000 hectares, comprised of 199,000 hectares of hardwood plantations, 223,300 hectares of softwood plantations and 800 hectares of other plantations.

In 2015–16, the volume of native hardwood logs harvested in Victoria was 1.3 million cubic metres valued at $112 million. The volume of plantation hardwood logs harvested was 2.8 million cubic metres valued at $194 million. The volume of softwood harvested was 4 million cubic metres valued at $293 million.

The sales and service income generated from the sale of wood products in Victoria was estimated at $3.4 billion in 2015–16. Sales and service income for paper and paper products is not available for 2015−16.

In 2016, the Victorian forestry sector employed 16,713 workers (0.6 per cent of the total employed workforce in Victoria) compared with 21,285 (0.9 per cent) in 2011. The number of people employed includes the following categories: forestry, logging, support services, timber wholesaling; and wood, pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing.

Area of native forest, by tenure, Hume region
Shows the area of native forest, by tenure in the region in thousand hectares. This figure is discussed in the above paragraphs.
Source: ABARES Australia's State of the Forests Report 2013

References

ABS 2017, Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2016, cat. no. 3235.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, accessed 19 September 2017.

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Last reviewed:
18 Sep 2018