Foreign workers in the farming and farm management sector in Australia are likely to have a growing role to play, according to the Year Book Australia published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
It provides a comprehensive statistical picture of the Australian economy, society and environment. In addition, it contains information on Australia's geography and climate, system of government, government services, international relations and defence.
In 2012, Australia celebrates the Australian Year of the Farmer and the book reveals the contribution of migrant farmers.
According to the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, people born overseas have a reasonably strong involvement in farming and farm management in Australia. Of approximately 160,000 farmers and farm managers identified at the 2006 Census, about 10% were born overseas.
Overseas born farmers and farm managers, in 2006, were particularly well represented in vegetable growing with about 40% of all farmers with the occupation vegetable grower.
A reasonably high proportion of crop farmers and pig farmers were also overseas born, comprising about 16% of all farmers in these occupations.
Nearly half of all overseas born farmers were aged 55 or over in 2006, which reflects the general trend of ageing farmers. Overseas born farmers in this age bracket were more prevalent in crops and livestock farming.
Younger arrivals were also prominent in broad acre agriculture, but were also likely to be found in intensive agriculture occupations, such as vegetable growing and dairying where about a third of overseas born farmers were aged 15 to 54.
Of those farmers born overseas a majority, nearly 60%, came from Europe and were mainly crop farmers or livestock farmers. Another 20% of farmers born overseas came from Asian countries and were more involved in vegetable growing than other farming occupations.