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    David Littleproud.

AgLife: Forecasts for big agricultural year

Official data from Australia’s agricultural science and economics arm backs up on-ground predictions of a record-breaking year in the national agriculture sector. 

It also reflects a combination of strong commodity prices, adding fuel to hopes of a bumper Wimmera harvest and rising trends in farm-industry confidence.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, ABARES, has predicted an eight percent increase in the value of national production above a 2020-21 record.

This would place the sector’s national earning at $73-billion, a figure that has quickly spread throughout farming and economic fraternities and far from lost on Wimmera-Mallee and Western District communities exploring socio-economic navigation routes out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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With the pandemic hitting various sectors hard, numerous financial commentators and industry leaders have long been suggesting that primary industry had the potential to provide some buffer against the full financial impact on the national economy.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said ABARES described the forecast as ‘remarkable in unprecedented economic times’.

“We’re looking at our second good year in a row, with a bumper crop harvest, international demand for our produce and a strong market for livestock,” he said.

“We’ve got all our ducks in a row for a record year again underpinned by our Ag 2030 plan to help agriculture trash its $100-billion goal by 2030.”

Mr Littleproud said expectations for a bumper winter crop harvest were combining with strong prices and greater demand for grain, cotton and sugar.

Amid his delight in speaking on the forecast, Mr Littleproud was also quick to put the figures into perspective.

“It’s not all smooth sailing. COVID-19 continues to provide challenges internationally, although we are working as a government to do what we can to boost international trade,” he said.

“We have listened to concerns about labour shortages and we are progressing the agricultural visa to make sure we can get fruit picked and veggies out of the ground.

“We are also keeping an eye on mouse numbers through the spring.

“This is a year to be proud of. It shows just how strong the agriculture sector is, despite the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

“Australians backed our farmers during the tough years of drought and we are now seeing those very farmers help the Australian community and economy through and beyond the pandemic.”

The entire September 29, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 29, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!