Australia’s cattle industry has undergone significant changes between 2016 and 2021, with the number of businesses running beef cattle increasing by 4% and the number of dairy businesses decreasing by 23%, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The decline in dairy businesses has led to a reduction in the number of dairy heifers by 27%, indicating a move away from dairy cattle in Australia.

However, there has been a 5% increase in enterprises running beef heifers, resulting in an additional 1,811 businesses running beef cattle in 2021 compared to 2016.

While total cattle numbers rose in all states except NSW and the NT, cattle numbers in Tasmania grew by 20%, WA by 6%, Victoria by 3%, and Queensland by 2%.

The greatest increase in absolute cattle numbers was seen in Toowoomba, with a rise of 51%.

Conversely, the greatest drop in cattle numbers was experienced in Maranoa, Central Highlands, Isaac, Balonne, and Warrumbungle Shire, largely due to drier conditions.

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