Top five cropping regions of 2021 - Elders Rural Services
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Top five cropping regions of 2021

Further to the release of the new Elders Rural Property Update, we now have the capability to draw on every rural land sale over 40 hectares.

This begs the question, which cropping dominant regions top the list in 2021?

Following on from our article on the top five livestock regions in 2021, we decided to look at cropping dominant regions in the same way.

Instead of just looking at median price growth which is only one metric to consider when assessing the rural property market, we draw on multiple insights from the database.

This exercise isn’t designed to fit a specific investment, it’s purely hypothetical and a means to demonstrate how this data can be used to rank regions across Australia depending on the circumstances of the investor.

It’s a fun and insightful way to compare different regions across Australia and a chance to learn something about a region you’d never heard of or considered.

Matt Ough, author of Elders Rural Property Update came up with the below criteria and asked Elders Real Estate specialists in each region for the inside knowledge on what makes the region so appealing.

The selection criteria

  • Two double digit quarters of growth in median price per hectare in 2021
  • A rolling one-year median price per hectare growth rate of over three per cent per quarter
  • Liquidity of over 10 transactions per quarter
  • Low variance in median growth over the past three years
  • Ranked according to quarterly compound average growth rate for 2021

Click on each region to view the historic trend for median price per hectare and transaction volume and read why our Elders Real Estate experts believe their region stands out from the rest.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for the Wimmera-Mallee.


Major rural centres: Charlton, Hopetoun, Horsham, Kaniva, Kerang, Mildura, Ouyen and Swan Hill.

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Wheat, barley and canola are the major crops in the region.

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The rolling one year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of two per cent in 2021.

“The Wimmera-Mallee is a region where in some instances perceived value relative to other comparable locations has led to an increase in demand and price. Corporate and family expansion opportunities, high grain prices, good yields and consecutively good seasons are all factors that make the region an appealing rural property prospect. Limited availability of assets presented to market, is something which has kept demand high and increased prices for assets which have sold.

“Large family farms and corporates have been active in the region and buying power remains high, driven by appreciating balance sheets. We expect the positive trend in land values to continue in the second half of 2022.” – Nick Myer, Elders State Real Estate Manager, Victoria and Riverina

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for Wimmera-Mallee.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for Eastern Western Australia.

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Major rural centres: Kulin, Lake Grace, Merredin and Narembeen.

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Wheat and barley are the major crops in the region.

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The rolling one year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of three per cent in 2021.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for Eastern WA.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for Central Western Australia.

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Major rural centres: Beverley, Corrigin, Cunderdin and Narrogin.

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Wheat and barley are the major crops in the region.

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The rolling one year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 3.1 per cent in 2021.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for Central WA.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance for Eyre Peninsula South Australia.

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Major rural centres: Ceduna, Cummins, Cleve and Port Lincoln.

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Wheat and barley are the major crops in the region.

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The rolling one year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 3.8 per cent in 2021.

“We saw records broken in a number of popular areas after another strong year for the rural property market. Strong buyer enquiry not only from locals, but also from investors and farmers from other regions of the state helped push demand higher.

“The additional widespread demand, along with a healthy appetite from locals to expand is the key driving force for price growth in the region.

“Sale results continue to surpass even the most positive expectations in many areas on the EP. Despite suggestions of interest rates being on the move, they are still very low historically and given that Australian commodity prices remain high, I expect a continuation of high prices for agriculture land being achieved for the rest of the year and beyond.

“The Eyre Peninsula recorded an increase in median price per hectare of 16.3 per cent in the 2021 calendar year, taking the five-year average annual growth rate to 25 per cent.

“In the 14 years I’ve been in real estate, I have never seen growth like it and it’s hard to imagine a better time to sell.” – Luke Duncan, Elders Real Estate, Port Lincoln.

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for the Eyre Peninsula.

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Graph showing one year rolling performance by quarter for Central West New South Wales.

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Major rural centres: Coonamble, Dubbo, Forbes, Gilgandra, Nyngan and Parkes.

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Wheat and barley are the major crops in the region.

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The rolling one year median price per hectare averaged a quarterly increase of 5.7 per cent in 2021.

“The Central West region of NSW continues to see strong levels of demand across all segments of the rural market with recent sales from autumn into winter confirming ongoing confidence.

“Winter cropping season is looking very positive; however, a considerable amount of the state has experienced wet weather, presenting challenges for weed control and sowing.

“We expect confidence in rural property to continue in the foreseeable future driven by the prospect of high grain prices again this season and a build-up of solid buying power from appreciating balance sheets.” – Richard Gemmell, Elders State Real Estate Manager, New South Wales

Check out our latest rural real estate listings for Central West NSW.

Common trends among the top five

The obvious blanket factor of the past decade has been declining interest rates but that’s something that needs to be backed by profitability on-farm in order to justify a property purchase.

Commodity price has been a linking factor between regions along with favourable seasonal conditions.

Wheat prices in December 2021 were up by 36.2 per cent in South Australia, 33.9 per cent in Victoria, 27 per cent in Western Australia and 26.3 per cent in New South Wales, this varied slightly depending on location, but it’s a compelling story in terms of revenue growth in the top five regions.

In addition to wheat, barley prices were up by 36.6 per cent in South Australia, 24.1 per cent in Victoria, 12.9 per cent in New South Wales and 3.9 per cent in Western Australia.

Canola is also produced in each of the top five regions but on a smaller scale. However, canola prices were up by a staggering 54.4 per cent in South Australia, 44.3 per cent in Victoria, 40.1 per cent in Western Australia and 39.1 per cent in New South Wales.

Nathan Cattle, Managing Director at Clear Grain Exchange highlights the strength of Australian grain on the world stage and how that demand flowed through to prices in 2021 and into 2022.

“Grain prices have been favourable for Australian growers, driven by a combination of Black Sea conflict and less than ideal growing conditions in other major producing areas of the world. This has put Australia in an enviable position to supply the world with grain.

“Prices in South Australia have consistently been the strongest in the country this season (2021 – 22), albeit that all states have been trading below export parity (the equivalent value of physical grain being traded off-shore). Hence there is opportunity for growers to offer their grain at a target price rather than simply accepting bids advertised by merchants.

“The Ukraine/Russia conflict does not look likely to abate in the medium term and we are nearing the first stages of the winter crop harvest in the northern hemisphere. Hence the window for those crops to improve is closing, however there is still potential for spring crops to improve if conditions pick up in the coming months which could weigh on prices. Overall, there are reasonable drivers to support Australian prices again this season.”

The list of common factors could go on and on, generational change is another driver which has anecdotally resulted in a higher volume of listings in several regions across the country.

A closer look at Western Australia

Western Australia is an important state when it comes to cropping and it’s no surprise to see two WA regions in the countdown.

Simon Cheetham, Elders State Real Estate Manager for Western Australia explains the scenario in the local market.

“Rural property values in the Central and Eastern Wheatbelt have enjoyed sustained growth over a number of years, however the uplift experienced in the past 24 months has been extraordinary.  This growth has in large part been aided by favourable seasons, low interest rates and strong returns per hectare experienced by growers. In this high confidence environment, farmers and investors have been eager capitalise on their position to expand their holdings, creating somewhat of a resurgence throughout the WA agricultural industry.

“The total number of 40ha+ properties sold in WA reduced by 6.5 per cent in the 2021 calendar year, however the total value of transaction increased by over $200 million, validating the anecdotal observations of limited supply and increasing prices.

“Those farms listed for sale have been hotly contested, and rarely being sold without setting a new price per hectare benchmark in their respective areas. It’s not surprising some sellers are choosing to take advantage of the current market conditions to extract the maximum value for their property.”


Perhaps some of the regions were a surprise, or perhaps some were already on your radar.

To find out more about your own region, contact your local Elders Real Estate manager.

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Source data provided by Corelogic and analysed by Elders.

The information contained in this article is only general and while we have provided this information in good faith and based on what we believe are accurate sources, the information may not be complete or accurate for your purposes. The information provided does not take into account everyone’s individual situation. General information should not be relied on instead of professional advice specifically directed to you and your circumstances. We are not responsible for any actions taken as a result of you relying on or in any way using information contained in this article and will not be liable for any damages resulting from your reliance on or use of this information.