Abstract: Whilst the term sustainability has undergone considerable transformation from its original intended meaning, in the context of agriculture it is considered to have relevance to four aspects of the activity; the maintenance of production, financial returns, employment opportunities, and the stability of the ecosystem. This article's appraisal of market trends suggests that the key issue of substantially improved financial returns for Australian agriculturalists is at present unlikely for some enterprises. What is particularly discouraging is that downward trends have persisted, despite the many efficiency gains in agriculture. Further gains from technological developments and trade liberalisation will be limited for many agricultural sectors. Whilst initiatives to reduce land degradation have achieved a high public profile, greater effectiveness can be achieved in this area. There is some scope for significant improvements in the overall performance of agriculture, but the most achievable gains will probably be confined to those specific enterprises that can use geography to greatest advantage.