Agriculture and Industry

The Murray-Darling Basin encompasses some 51,672 farms. This constitutes 42.3 % of Australia’s total farms. Agricultural farms vary significantly from one location to another: from the small horticultural properties in some of the intensive irrigation areas to the large grazing properties in the semi-arid western parts of the Basin.

The Murray-Darling Basin is highly valuable in terms of agricultural production. The gross value of agricultural production in 1991-92 was estimated as $8,555,983,514 which is 41.04 % of the Australian total. Of course, figures vary significantly from year to year due to weather conditions, access to markets and commodity prices, especially on export markets.

The area experiences a vast range of climatic conditions, producing a variety of agricultural commodities including:


  • wheat
  • maize
  • sorghum
  • triticale
  • oats
  • barley
  • rice

  • 2. Oil Seeds

  • canola
  • cotton
  • sunflower
  • soy bean
  • grape
  • linseed
  • peanuts

  • 3. Horticultural crops

  • citrus – mandarins, oranges, grapefruits, lemons
  • stone fruit- nectarines, peaches, plums, prunes, cherries
  • pome fruit – apples and pears
  • grapes
  • vegetables – cabbages , beans, peas, cauliflower, carrots, onions, asparagus, tomatoes

  • 4. Livestock production-

  • sheep
  • cattle
  • pigs
  • poultry
  • Nurseries
  • Plantations

  • Useful Websites and Resources

    The LandLearn website provides a range of materials to engage students in active, experiential learning.

    The Discover Dairy website has been developed by Dairy Australia to engage and educate teachers and students about the Australian dairy industry and the nutritious products it produces.

    The River Murray: The Big Picture By Michelle Olivier