Performance of grains industry farms – Australia and Queensland

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Average farm cash income for Australian grains industry farms – defined as farms in the grains and grains – livestock industries – improved significantly in 2010 – 11 compared with 2009 – 10. This improvement was because of large increases in grain and oilseed production in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, combined with higher grain and oilseed prices. At the same time, there was only a relatively small rise in total cash costs resulting mainly from higher expenditure on fertiliser, fuel, crop chemicals, interest payments and costs associated with harvesting a larger crop than in 2009 – 10.

After Declining in the previous two financial years, farm cash income increased for Queensland grain Industry farms in 2010-11 to an average of $91 400 per farm, or around 12 per cent higher than the 10-year average to 2009-10 (in real terms). Overall, crop receipts increased as production rose despite very wet seasonal conditions and widespread flooding. In addition beef cattle receipts increased on mixed grains – beef farms as abundant grazing resulted in heavier turn-off weights for cattle and higher average sale prices, and fodder costs were much reduced.

Although Australian grain and oilseed production reached a record high in 2011-12, lower prices for most grains and oilseeds, together with increases in farms cash costs, are estimated to have resulted in a fall in overall average farm cash income for grains industry farms. Nationally, farm cash income is estimated to have averaged $151 000 per farm in 2011-12. This is significantly below the average farm cash income for 2010-11, but still around 31% above the industry average for the previous 10 years.

Farm cash income for Queensland grain farms is estimated to have increased further in 2011-12 to average $111 000 per farm, which is around 30% higher than the 10-year average to 2010-11 (in real terms). Despite lower prices for grains and cottons, increased production of wheat, grain sorghum and cotton resulted in higher crop receipts, which offset a small increase in total cash costs.

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