Variable farm incomes for states
4 March 2014
A survey of farms across the country has revealed a significant disparity in the cash income of farms in each state, with seasonal conditions a major factor.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) survey shows farm cash incomes will grow in 2013-14 to average $124,000 a farm - more than 40 per cent above the 10 year average.
“Farm cash incomes are projected to rise nationally, with record incomes expected for farms in Western Australia and South Australia,” said Assistant Secretary, ABARES, Peter Gooday.
“However Queensland and northern New South Wales are likely to see large declines due largely to the ongoing drought in both states.
“Incomes for Queensland broadacre farms are forecast to average $39,000, the lowest for the state in the 37 years the ABARES survey has operated.”
The proportion of receipts needed to fund interest payments is expected to be around 8 per cent nationally but is projected to reach 16 per cent in Queensland with around one third of Queensland farms recording negative farm cash incomes.
“While circumstances are difficult in some regions, at a national level, the industry seems reasonably positioned both in terms of overall equity levels and ability to service debt.
“Much of the debt has been used to fund expansion and increase intensity, both of which would be expected to have productivity and profitability payoffs in the long term,” Mr Gooday said.The forecasts follow the release of the March issue of Agricultural commodities at the ABARES Outlook 2014 Conference in Canberra today.