With 1795, when the first white settlers moved for partial self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs, until the end of World War II was agriculture, and especially the sheep, was the foundation of the Australian economy. Although the development of industry, agriculture lost its leading position, the industry still lies at the heart of the country's wealth.
The expression "Australia rides on the sheep" justify himself for a hundred years - from 1820 to about 1920. Using imported into 1797 from Cape of Good Hope, several Spanish Merino, as well as other, imported from England a little later, John MacArthur and his wife Elizabeth by careful breeding brought a new breed - Australian merino.
Mechanization of the British textile industry has led to a demand for fine-fibered wool, that Australia was able to meet with 1820. In 1850 in this country, there were 17,5 million. Sheep. After 1860 money, obtained from the gold mines Victoria, spent on the expansion of sheep farming. В 1894 exceeded the number of sheep 100 млн. В 1970 number of Ineep in Australia reached a record level millionkogo - 180 млн. However, due to a sharp fall in the price of wool in the world market 1997 it was reduced to 123 млн.million
В 1974 adopted a proposal on the introduction of lower-level auction prices for wool, and it operated successfully until the 1991, when it started selling a huge stock of accumulated hair in the "free market". As a result, the price of wool fell sharply. By the time the country had accumulated more than 4,6 million. bales of unsold wool. Sales of these stocks, as well as newly produced wool has become a problem for modern Australia. В 1996 was produced 730 thousand. tons of wool, but the prices have gone down on her 57% compared with 1988-1989.In
If the Australian wool market was from the beginning 19 a., then the meat for many years this market was not. Therefore, the old and the sheep were killed on the excess skin and fat. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 technology and the invention of frozen meat 1879 allowed to export Australian lamb in England. The successful development of trade stimulated the development of new breeds of sheep, which gave the meat of better quality compared to Merino, but somewhat inferior wool. In 1996-1997 in Australia was made 583 тыс. T Lamb, of them went for export 205 тыс. t. Over the past decade thousanden adjusted exports of live sheep, which were sacrificed after delivery to the destination country. Basically this product bought Muslim countries in the Middle East. Results in 1996-1997 was exported from Australia more than 5,2 million. Sheep.
Most of the sheep population is confined to the three concentric zones of the continent. In the area of the herd of sheep (area 3,9 million. square. km, the average annual rainfall less than 500 mm with an irregular mode of deposition) less concentrated 1/4 all sheep, but it is there in the ground and bred Australian merino. This zone extends over a wide arc south-eastern part of South Australia, the central part of New South Wales and further north in the central Квинсленд; in Western Australia it forms a belt along the central coast, and then turns into the mainland to the Nullarbor Plain. The average size of farms in this area is 20 000 га, and the specific capacity of pasture is low: one sheep falls on 3,2 га. Zone of sheep and grain farming, specializing in the cultivation of wheat, area of approximately 534 thousand. square. miles located on the outer side of the pasture area and concentrates 2/5 the total number of sheep. This year falls on a regular basis to 750 mm of rainfall. Wheat and sheep have approximately the same value. Sheep are hybrid rocks, giving a lot of meat and wool. Средний размер хозяйства 1000 га, and the specific capacity of pastures - a sheep in the 0,7 га. In the outer zone, where much rain falls - more 750 mm per year, concentrated than 1/3 sheep. Here, along with the sheep bred cattle (for meat) and wheat. Средний размер хозяйства 485 га, and the specific capacity of pastures - 3,2 Sheep on the 1 га.The average size of farmshectare
Because in Australia there are no large predators, except dingoes, cattle during the colonial period of considerable magnitude, especially in the more arid and remote areas, where it is ahead of sheep. However, the development of the industry was held back because of the inability to export goods and the limited domestic market. "Gold Rush" in Victoria in the 1850s attracted thousands of people. There has arisen a considerable market for beef, which gave rise to the development of commodity beef cattle. But only after 1890, When frozen Australian beef has come to the British market, was guaranteed further development of this industry. By that time, has been mastered blshaya part of the continent, which is now used for grazing cattle, and the total number of cattle reached approximately 10 million.
In 1997 there 23,5 млн. cattle meat breeds. Beef and veal was 1,8 млн. t, of them 42% directed to export. Of great importance for the expansion of exports of Australian beef was the discomillionf the Japanese market. As in the sheep, during these years significantly increased the export of live cattle - more 860 thousand. goals in the 1996-1997.
Introduction of exotic tropical legumes opens the prospects for improving the quality of pasture. Belt with an average annual rainfall of 500-750 mm, crossing the Queensland, New South Wales and northern Victoria, best suited for cattle breeding. Capacity of pastures here ranges from 1,2 до 12 head of cattle ha, and the size of farms - from 400 до 10 500 га, most of them belong to private owners. In this zone are common improved pasture, often with irrigation system, sheep and grain farming combined with the breeding of cattle. In the more humid coastal grazing capacity of slightly lower - from 1,6 до 12 ha head of cattle and farm sizes range from 400 до 14 600 га. In these two areas holds much of cattle meat breeds, and established a large scale production of feed. Most beef cattle fattened cattle on unfenced pastures. hectareto
The most common breeds - Hereford, shorthorn and angus. With 1959 has made significant progress thanks to the introduction of breeding zebu cattle in northern Australia, and this influence is now noticeable in many areas, where the animals are grown for meat. Texas Santa Gertrudis breed has been very successful, a similar breed drotmaster has spread to the north Квинсленда.
Australia's dairy farms are concentrated in the south-east coast, which drops a lot of rain or irrigation is established; the most important areas of the industry - the southern coast of Victoria, Murray Valley, near Echuca, and the border area between Queensland and New South Wales. In 1997 there 3,1 million. head of dairy cattle. The number of livestock has decreased since the early 1960s, but thanks to the improvement of its composition and quality of pasture, and improving methods of farming the amount of dairy products has not decreased. In the 1990s, dairy cattle increased again. This trend is partly due to the successful adaptation of industry to the conjuncture on the world market after the, in the mid-1980s, the decision was made, that prices for dairy products should meet international. Currently, about half of Australian dairy products exported (mainly in the Middle East and Asia) in the form of cheese, dry milk, oil and casein. In the past, the production of dairy products was dependent on state subsidies, Now the industry is becoming more and more independent.
Other livestock industry, such, a pig, poultry farming and bee keeping, focused mainly on the domestic market, and only a few products are exported.