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Completed project

Financial performance of Australian vegetable farms 2016-2017 to 2018-2019 (VG15077)

Key research provider: ABARES
Publication date: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

What was it all about?

From 2016 to 2019, this project conducted annual economic surveys which provided industry with key financial and performance data on Australian vegetable-growing farms.

Key insights from the latest report 2017/18 to 2018/19 include:

  • In 2017–18, small vegetable-growing farms (less than 5 hectares) accounted for 12 per cent of the gross value of vegetable production and large vegetable-growing farms (more than 70 hectares) accounted for 59 per cent.
  • The average rate of return of Australian vegetable-growing farms is estimated to have remained steady at 3.9 per cent in 2018–19.
  • Although the majority of production is for domestic markets, vegetable exports contributed about 1 per cent ($385 million) of Australia’s agricultural export income in 2017–18.
  • In 2017–18, nearly one-half of all vegetable growers sold their produce to a wholesale vegetable market.
  • In 2017–18, around one-third of Australian vegetable-growing farms indicated their intention to increase irrigation water use in the future, primarily by purchasing additional water entitlements.
  • The cost of labor makes up a considerable proportion of total costs for all vegetables.
  • Nearly all vegetable growers have implemented a pest and disease monitoring program.

The project follows the investment Financial performance of Australian vegetable farms 2013-14 to 2015-16 (VG13068), whicih hosts information and reports from the past project.


Download the latest report, Australian vegetable-growing farms: An economic survey 2017/18 to 2018/19, released in November 2019.

Download the previous years report, Australian vegetable-growing farms: An economic survey 2015/16 to 2016/17, released in December 2017.

Further information is available from the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources here.

Related levy funds

Funding statement:

This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund using the vegetable R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government


Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2019. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).