Harvesters field panorama

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Welcome to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

70 years of ABARES logo

ABARES 70 years

This August ABARES ​marks 70 years of applied research in Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry. These seven decades have been marked by significant changes in the national and global economy and by the many debates that have shaped the development of Australia’s primary industries. See the Bureau’s first publication cover.

ABARES was established in 1945 as the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE). Among its original functions were ‘to investigate the economic prospects of primary industries with particular reference to efficiency factors’.

A key activity of ABARES has been its farm surveys programme, expanding to cover broadacre and dairy industries on an annual basis since 1971 and other industries when requested. Information from the farm surveys has provided a rich time series of data on which to base analysis of farm performance and productivity.

The Bureau’s research programme broadened over time to encompass the major policy debates of the day, including structural reforms in agriculture and the benefits of liberalising international agricultural markets.

A number of related research agencies were combined to form the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) in 1988. This expanded the research focus to include energy and minerals markets as well as major issues such as climate change, where the bureau was recognised internationally for its analytical leadership. ABARE also made significant contributions to domestic debates around natural resource management, including reforms to water policies, development of regional forestry policy and changes to fisheries management.

Today’s organisation, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, (ABARES) was formed following a merger with the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) in 2010. This merger has strengthened the bureau by creating the capacity to undertake integrated economic, scientific and social research that deepens insights into current policy concerns.

One of the hallmarks of ABARES has been its Outlook conferences, where delegates can hear the latest trends and information from bureau economists. The first was held in 1971 and within a decade expanded to include regional conferences. They are now recognised as Australia’s leading agricultural economics forum.

Throughout its history the Bureau has provided rigorous and objective analysis of major issues affecting Australia’s primary industries and economy and has challenged the way people and governments have thought about these issues. See the ABARES timeline.

ABARES 70 years timeline from 1945 to 2015 

Professionally independent research

ABARES is a research bureau within the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​. We provide professionally independent research, analysis and advice for government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.

World-class advice

Stakeholders can be confident that ABARES produces world-class economic and scientific research, commodity forecasts, statistics and other analysis based solely on sound and broadly-accepted economic and scientific concepts and principles and the latest available information and data.

Find out more about the principles of ABARES research and analysis​​

image of machines cutting hay 

Agricultural Commodities

Performance and forecasts for major agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries.

Agricultural Commoditi​es​

Image of a outlook conference 2016. 

Outlook 2016 conference

Exploring Investing in agriculture: growing our future, Outlook 2016 is on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March in Canberra. Registrations are now open for this leading event for stakeholders in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. 

Find ou​t more Regional Outlook conferences