Importance to Livestock Industries
Feed manufacturers are an essential component in adding value to the production and supply of Australia’s raw materials for conversion into stock feed which commercial livestock owners use to produce higher value meat, milk, eggs and wool. The stock feed industry also provides hobby farmers, backyard and leisure livestock owners with high quality and reliable feeds for their animals.
The Australian stockfeed market is the largest user of the Australian grain crop.
Commercial Poultry Industry
Over 1,150,000 tonnes of chicken meat is produced annually within Australia (Source ABS 2015/16), this is almost entirely consumed within the Australian domestic market. The chicken meat industry has been growing by 4.5% annually over the last 20 years and has become the most commonly consumed meat in Australia.
There are almost 17.8 million laying hens in Australia (Source AECL 2014/15). Eggs are produced from cage, barn and free range laying farms, with eggs being predominantly supplied to the Australian domestic market. Egg consumption has been growing, reaching 210 eggs per person per year.
Australia produced 378,000 tonnes of pig meat in 2015/16 (Source ABS), most of which is consumed locally as fresh pork. The Australian pig industry competes with pig meat imports from Canada, Denmark and the USA. The Australian iondustry has been growing at 2% over the last eight year period.
Australian milk production was 9,500 million litres in 2015/16, and Australia is a significant exporter of dairy products (Source Dairy Australia).
There are 1.6 million dairy cows in Australia and concentrate feeding has increased to 1,800kg/cow/300 day lactation. Dairy farms have been increasing in the number of cows in milk, this now exceeding 300 cows per farm.
The Australian beef herd was 27.4 million in June 2015 (Source MLA). Australia exports nearly 65% of total beef production to over 100 countries. Australia is the largest beef exporter in the world. (Source MLA)
Australia has a large beef feedlot sector with a high reliance upon grain feeding for export and domestic markets. In 201/16, 2.8 million grainfed cattle were marketed - 35% of all adult cattle slaughtered.
The national sheep and lamb flock is 70.9 milion heAD (Source MLA June 2015). Australia is the largest exporter of sheep meats in thew world. There has been in increasing number of lambs finished on grain to provide more consistent supplies of lamb meat.
The contribution of the horse industry to the Australian economy has been estimated to be over $6.2 billion a year (Source RIRDC). While racing and associated activities (breeding and gambling) contribute a little over half, horse businesses, equestrian and breed events and the maintenance of horses are very large industries in themselves.
Australia has a growing aquaculture industry, with species being farmed including salmon, trout, prawns, barramundi and blue fin tuna. The manufacture of aquafeeds requires high levels of technical knowledge and manufacturing technology.
For further information on Australia's livestock industries and their use of feeds refer to the Feed Grain Partnership report.