The sheep meat and wool industry is Victoria's third largest agricultural industry by value, with a gross value of agricultural production of around $1.5 billion in 2012-13. The gross values of sheep meat and wool production were $923 million and $574 million, respectively. The Victorian sheep flock was around 15.7 million head in 2013-14.
Victorian sheep meat (lamb and mutton) production has increased by approximately 60 per cent since the early nineties. Victoria is currently Australia's largest lamb and mutton producing state, producing 207,100 tonnes of lamb (44 per cent of Australian lamb production) in 2012-13. Victoria is one of the world's largest suppliers of sheep meat, exporting around 179,000 tonnes in 2013-14, worth $898 million.
The Sheep Industry Profile provides an overview of the location, structure and performance of Victoria's sheep industry. It also provides information on production, trends, exports, domestic consumption, productivity, financial performance and employment details of the industry, as well as opportunities and challenges and important government policy influences.'
Role of Agriculture Victoria
As Victoria is the largest lamb producer in Australia, the department has a lead role in lamb research, development and extension under the national research, development and extension framework.
We are building new capacity that will generate new knowledge and technology to transform the lamb industry and will target on-farm practice change by focusing on increasing lamb supply through a value chain approach.
The department aims to develop more productive lamb and finishing systems that also meet natural resource outcomes, are flexible under climate change, reduce methane emissions and meet quality and market demands for meat products.
Research is currently being developed around extensive grazing farming systems, with particular emphasis on grazing ecology, animal physiology and ruminant nutrition.
For example, our work on lean meat is a market driven research project to improve the quality of lamb and other red meat.
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