They are the biggest producers in Australian agriculture.
Spread over thousands kiilometres or producing a mountain of food or fibre, these remarkable enterprises have made their indelible mark on Australian agriculture.
Some are among the nation's oldest companies, while others are newer ventures that are taking on the world.
But all most likely touch our lives every day through familiar brands or providing the raw material for many of the products in our pantries or wardrobes.
The list has revealed some remarkable facts:
- Australia's biggest beef producer is majority owned by a British billionaire who also owns the famous Tottenham Hotspurs soccer team
- Our biggest dairy farmer is a Canadian superannuation company
- Of the three biggest grain growers, two are owned by Canadian interests
- Only a few tonnes of wool separates the top two wool producers
- A bank is our biggest wool and cotton producer
- Australia's biggest landholder owns farms bigger than Ireland and Sri Lanka in size
- The nation's biggest olive producer, who is Australian owned, also produces about 20 per cent of the United States olive crop
This is the first in our special three-part series over the next three weeks listing the biggest and best in Australian agriculture, beginning today with the biggest farmers in the nation.
Anna Creek Australia, at William Creek in northern South Australia, is Australia's biggest farm. Technically, Anna Creek is 15,746 square kilometres in size. But when tallied with its neighbouring outstation, The Peake, the aggregation expands to 23,876 square kilometres.
That easily eclipses the next biggest Australian property, Clifton Hills Station, which is 16,996 square kilometres and is also in South Australia.
The aggregation runs between 9500 and 17,000 cattle depending on the season.
The Oldfield and Costello families' Crown Point Pastoral Company owns eight properties across the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia totalling more than 75,000 square kilometres, to make it the nation's biggest landholder. Its most recent addition was the 733,700-hectare Mount Doreen Station, in the Northern Territory, bought in 2022 for $50 million-$70 million.
Biggest beef producer
Australian Agricultural Company is Australia's biggest beef producer, with a beef herd of 433,000 head across 6.5 million hectares in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
AACo is majority owned by British billionaire Joe Lewis, who owns Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur, with Australian iron ore magnate Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest owning 18.5 per cent.
Biggest wool grower
This is a close-run category, with Macquarie Bank's Paraway Pastoral Company just edging out South Australia's McBride family.
According Paraway, the company has a flock of up to 250,000 head, and produces more than 1460 tonnes wool a year
Paraway owns or operates more than 4.4 million hectares, and also runs 220,000 cattle.
The AJ & PA McBride Company shears more than 300,000 sheep and lambs annually across 10 properties, which produces 1442 tonnes of wool.
Also in the mix is the McLachlan family's Jumbuck Pastoral, which runs 237,000 sheep across eight of its properties. However, the company does not reveal its annual wool production.
Biggest grain grower
Another Canadian-controlled company, Lawson Grains, is our third biggest.
Warakirri Asset Management "owns and operates over 155,000 hectares of broadacre cropping farms".
This put it ahead of Altora Ag, which said it was "Australia's largest broadacre agribusiness", owning 153,361 hectares of cropping land.
Lawson Grains said it farms "over 90,000 arable hectares in some of Australia's most productive cropping districts".
However, Warakirri owned less than 10 per cent of the 155,000 hectares under management,
Only Warakirri provided a production estimate, saying it had "production potential in excess of 400,000 tonnes of grain per annum, representing one of the largest grain producers in Australia".
Biggest dairy farmer
Aurora Dairies, a part of giant Canadian ag investor PSP Investments, is the nation's biggest dairy farmer.
It archives the title by farming across 54 farms spread over about 23,000 hectares in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. It produces 280 million litres of milk annually. Aurora formed in 2019 when it bought Warakirri Dairies, a company that ran 11 dairy farms.
The company has since made multiple purchases of farms, most notably the Gray-Wigg and Ace Dairy properties in Gippsland. Warakirri Asset Manager manages Aurora on behalf of PSP.
Tasmanian company Van Dairy claims it is "Australia's biggest milk producer", but with 25 dairy farms over 7000 hectares and 30,000 cows, it would run second to Aurora.
Biggest cotton grower
Cotton plantings and production fluctuate wildly year to year due to water availability, so this is a difficult one to completely pin down.
But the popular consensus is that Cubbie Ag is our biggest cotton producer.
It operates across 93,000 hectares on three properties - including the famous Cubbie Station - at Dirranbandi and St George in southern Queensland.
Its 22,000 of irrigated cropping provides an enormous capacity to grow cotton, with almost all of this - 21,000 hectares, reportedly planted to cotton this year due to good La Nina rainfall filling Cubbie's enormous water storages.
While Cubbie does not release production statistics, at an industry average 12 bales a hectare, that would produce about 250,000 bales of cotton, each weighing 227kg, for a total output of 57,000 tonnes.
Cubbie is owned by Macquarie Asset Management, a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank.
Biggest almond producer
Select Harvests is Australia's biggest grower and processor of almonds, and also claims to be the third biggest in the world.
The publicly-listed company has 9262 hectares of orchards in South Australia, Victoria and NSW, and can process 22,000 tonnes of almonds in a season.
Biggest olive producer
Victorian company Boundary Bend Limited produced 72 per cent of Australia's olive crop last year to easily make it the nation's biggest producer.
The company, which owns the Cobram Estates olive oil brand, has 2.4 million olive trees across 6584 hectares (it owns 18,677 hectares of freehold farmland) in Victoria and NSW.
It also has 207,500 olive trees on 358 hectares in California and, in 2019 , produced 20 per cent of the United States' crop.
Next Monday: Our exclusive list of the nation's biggest processors.