Livestock Farm Monitor Project
The Livestock Farm Monitor Project analyses the financial and economic performance of participating livestock farms across Gippsland, South West and Northern Victoria and is funded by the Victorian Government, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
The project has a 40-year history in Victoria, providing decades of livestock farm performance information and comparative data for the livestock industry, government, and researchers to make improved planning and management decisions.
The comprehensive report is used by government and industry to inform policy and service delivery to generate economic growth. It also encourages farmers to identify areas of improvement in their own businesses by applying the whole farm analysis standards used by the Livestock Farm Monitor Project. The results and trends reported need to be interpreted carefully as participant farms may not be representative of the industry or region and participant farms differ every year.
Economic performance for many sheep and cattle producers improved markedly in 2016-17, with some farms achieving record profits. Based on data from the Livestock Farm Monitor Project, average farm profits (real) were the highest in over a decade. High and/or rising prices coupled with above average rainfall and pasture growth increased gross farm incomes. Sheep producers experienced the greatest improvement in economic performance, with merino wool price gains outperforming red meat prices.
Gross farm income (real terms) in the South West rose to the highest level on record in 2016-17, based on survey data since the start of the Livestock Farm Monitor Project in 1971. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to $367 per hectare. Return on assets and return on equity also improved significantly to five per cent and six per cent respectively.
Pasture growth was generally exceptional across Victoria's South West and Northern region for the 2016-17 season - a vast improvement on the previous year. Both regions had above rainfall for spring 2016 and autumn 2017. However seasonal conditions were mixed in Gippsland. As a result, farms with the highest profitability and return on assets in 2016-17 were more likely to be from the South West and Northern areas of the state. Average earnings (EBIT/ha) for each enterprise - wool, lamb and beef - showed similar returns in 2016-17.
Victorian livestock farm profitability increased from 2014-15 to 2015-16 according to the latest Livestock Farm Monitor report. Average return on assets increased from 2.1 per cent in 2014-15 to 2.4 per cent in 2015-16. Additionally, gross farm income increased from $633 per hectare to $683 per hectare, return on equity increased from 1.5 per cent to 1.7 per cent and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased from $133 to $157 per hectare.
The increased profitability was mainly driven by greatly improved cattle prices. Wool prices also rose across the board, while lamb prices were variable from region to region, but remained similar to last year. Stocking rates were slightly lower than last year and while variable, wool, lamb and beef production per hectare all decreased from the previous year. Variable costs, in particular supplementary feed and agistment costs, increased this year as a result of a second dry year, while overhead costs also increased. Long term average rainfall over all participants is 685mm, while an average of only 560mm was received in 2015-16.
Victorian livestock farm profitability increased from 2013/14 to 2014/15 according to the latest Livestock Farm Monitor report. Average return on assets increased from 1.8% in 2013/14 to 2.1% in 2014/15. Additionally, gross farm income increased from $569/ha to $633/ha, return on equity increased from 0.6% to 1.5% and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased from $42/ha to $133/ha.
The increased profitability was mainly a result of increased commodity prices, in particular beef. Stocking rates were slightly higher and there was an increase in beef, lamb and wool production per hectare. While beef prices rose dramatically in the second part of the financial year, financial performance did not increase as much. This was due to timing of sales generally occurring before the prices rose, but also below average seasonal conditions. Long term average rainfall over all participants is 685mm, while an average of only 532mm was received in 2014/15. Subsequently, producers spent more on supplementary feed and agistment than in the previous year.
Overall, profitability improved across all regions.
Overall Victorian livestock farm profitability increased from 2012/13 to 2013/14 according to the latest Livestock Farm Monitor report. Average return on assets doubled from 1% in 2012/13 to 2% in 2013/14. Additionally, gross farm income increased from $484/ha to $569/ha, return on equity increased from -1% to 1% and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) increased from $9/ha to $42/ha.
The increased profitability was mainly a result of improved seasonal conditions. This allowed an increase in stocking rates and more beef, lamb and wool production per hectare, as well as reduced expenditure on supplementary feeding and agistment. Increased lamb and beef prices also contributed to improved performance, although wool prices remained soft.
The improvement in profitability was seen across all regions.
- 2012-13 Report or 2012-13 Report plus appendices or appendices
- 2011-12 report
- 2010-11 report
- 2009-10 report
Hard copies of recent reports 2012-13 , 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2009-10 (Livestock) and past reports 2008-09 (Sheep), 2008-09 (SW Vic), 2007-08 (Sheep), 2007-08 (SW Vic), 2006-07 (Wool), 2006-07 (SW Vic) can be obtained by contacting our customer service centre on 136 186.