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Incomes for broadacre farms steady

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18 May 1999

Incomes for broadacre farms steady

‘Generally good seasonal conditions across most of.Australia in 1998 and sofar - in 1999 have led to increased production of most commodities except wool’, Dr Brian Fisher, Executive Director of ABARE, said today when releasing the Australian Farm Surveys Report 1999. ‘However, lower prices for grains, wool

and milk in some states are expected to result in reduced profitability for a substantial proportion of broadacre and dairy farms in 1998-99.’

The financial performance of the beef industry is expected to improve in 1998­ 99, reflecting higher prices and lower costs of production. Farm incomes in the dairy industry are expected to increase as a result of increased milk production combined with higher manufacturing milk prices. Crop receipts are also expected to increase on broadacre farms in 1998-99, with higher grain production offsetting falls in grain prices.

‘Farm cash income for the sheep industry is forecast to decrease further in 1998-99 mainly as a result of depressed wool prices. However, many sheep farms have diversified their farm enterprises, so the fall in farm cash incomes is expected to be less than it could have been’, Dr Fisher added.

The report contains summary results from additional survey collections undertaken by ABARE in 1998. These include information on the best practices in the sheep and beef industries, pasture management on grain growing farms, vegetation cover and land clearing on broadacre farms in Queensland, and the adoption of technology in the dairy industry.

For the first time, the Australian Farm Surveys Report 1999 provides estimates of a range of socioeconomic characteristics for broadacre and dairy farmers - for example, the average number of hours worked per week on-farm and off- farm by owner managers and their spouses. The report also contains an analysis of the age profiles of Australian broadacre and dairy farmers since the early


In releasing the report, Dr Fisher acknowledged the financial assistance to ABARE’s 1998 farm surveys program by the Woolmark Company, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Dairy Research and Development Corporation.

For further information, contact Peter Martin on (02) 6272 2363.

For copies o f the Australian Farm Surveys Report 1999, contact Publication Orders on 1800 244 129.

For general media enquiries, contact Margaret Day on (02) 6272 2260 or 018 487 825.

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