QUEENSLAND will end its horticulture year on a high as the state's largest agricultural industry.
Production and lifestyle is projected to be Queensland's largest agricultural industry ahead of beef, by a healthy margin of about $400 million this financial year.
Production horticulture - fruit and vegetable growing - is Queensland's second biggest agricultural industry and is worth more than twice the value of sugar, almost twice the value of all grains and almost four times the value of cotton, according to figures released by the Queensland Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry.
AgTrends 2012-13 data shows fruit and nut production is worth more than all cereal grains combined, including wheat, barley, maize and sorghum.
- The value for fruit and nut production is 8 per cent greater than the final estimate for 2011-12 and 20 per cent greater than the average in the past five years.
- The value for vegetable production is 6 per cent lower than 2011/12 but eight per cent higher than the five year average.
"This is a great achievement for our industry and our estimated 2800 farmers who work hard in the face of many challenges,'' he said.
"Fruit and vegetable growers play a vital role in this state.
"They not only put food on our plates but provide jobs and boost the economy.''
Queensland's fruit and vegetable industry is estimated to have a total gross value of production of more than $2440 million.
The value of the total horticulture industry, which includes industries such as nuts and nursery, is estimated to be more than $3605 million.
This compares with beef at $3197 million and sugar at $1200 million.
"The state’s horticulture industry has continued its success despite many obstacles this year, including the ongoing threat of imported pests and diseases, rising costs for important inputs such as electricity and water, restrictions on agricultural chemicals and the concentration of market power within the two largest retailers,'' Mr Livingstone said.
"As Christmas time approaches, we call on consumers to celebrate the abundance of good quality locally grown produce we enjoy at this time of year by buying Australian grown fruit and vegetables for their tables in support of our growers.''