Aussie farmers remain resilient, with ABARES forecasting a rise in the total value of farm production to $61 billion, well above the ten-year average.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said dry seasonal conditions during autumn had seen a shaky start to the crop season in eastern Australia, however overall crop value should remain unchanged.
“Farm production is on the up thanks to strong demand for Aussie lamb, wool and cotton across our international markets,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Farm exports are expected to reach $47 billion in 2018–19. Cotton exports are forecast to rise by a huge 18 per cent to $2.6 billion thanks to world consumption outpacing world production, lifting prices.
“Wool exports are forecast to increase 9 per cent to $4.7 billion as limited growth in the world supply of fine and superfine wools lift prices.
“Lamb exports are forecast to rise by 10 per cent to $2.3 billion, while the value of beef and veal exports is forecast to increase by 2 per cent to $7.8 billion.
“Our farmers are already benefiting from current free trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea, and will get better access to key markets through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“To ensure our farmers see the benefits of our free trade agreements I recently announced six additional agricultural counsellors to be on the ground in markets where we are negotiating free trade agreements.
“Some of our farmers are really copping it as drought conditions roll on and that’s why recently I announced $20.3 million to extend the Rural Financial Counselling Service to 2020.
“The Farm Household allowance remains on the table as an option for those doing it tough, helping over 7,900 since it was launched in 2013. Farmers must not self-assess for this service but should seek advice through the Department of Human Services.”
This story was first published in The Fence magazine.