Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion down 23% says re­port

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

A DRY win­ter and poor start to spring in most crop­ping re­gions has seen fore­cast win­ter crop pro­duc­tion in Aus­tralia fall by al­most one quar­ter.

The Aus­tralian Bureau of Agri­cul­tural and Re­source Eco­nomics and Sciences (ABARES) De­cem­ber crop re­port shows crop pro­duc­tion dropped 20 per cent below the 20 year av­er­age.

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture David Lit­tleproud said the dip wasn’t un­ex­pected and high­lighted the im­pact of the drought on crop­ping.

“Har­vest­ing of win­ter crops is well un­der way and to­tal pro­duc­tion is es­ti­mated to have de­creased by 23 per cent to 29.3 mil­lion tonnes in 2018–19,” he said.

“Many farm­ers also chose to cut crops planted for grain pro­duc­tion for hay be­cause of higher fod­der prices.

“The story of agri­cul­ture in Aus­tralia is just add rain.

“De­spite the con­tin­ued drought, win­ter crop pro­duc­tion re­mains sub­stan­tially higher than 17 mil­lion tonne crops pro­duced in the wide­spread droughts of 2002-03 and 2006-07.

SLIM PICK­INGS: Corey Ue­ber­gang is go­ing through his fourth drought on-farm and this one is the dri­est he’s seen. PHOTO: Mel Guy

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