The national agricultural forecaster projects that Australian farm produce will hit a record $78 billion in 2021/22, well on the way to ambitious government and industry targets of $100 billion by 2030.
ABARES' Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville told FlowNews24 earlier today that whilst returns were bolstered by excellent commodity prices thanks to tougher seasons overseas, farmers faced input cost headwinds:
"For the summer cropping right at the moment, we're seeing fertiliser prices up a lot, they've shifted as the winter crop went in - not only that, we've had some freight disruptions on the boil and higher fuel costs
We're expecting the amount of return out of the big number in gross value of production to be a record level, but that's going to be squeezed by those high import costs.
Dr Greenville highlighted urea as one glaring example of rising input costs:
"The price of urea imported into Australia is about 74 per cent higher this year compared to what it was last year, that's quite a bit of a jump in terms of where it's going.
Catch the full interview with ABARES' executive director Dr Jared Greenville on the FlowNews24 podcast:
The ABARES report highlighted the challenging logistical environment for farmers in the coming year, with freight costs within the region the highest in the world:
Dr Greenville said the value of farm production outcomes varied between states:
"WA is really a big mover, its set to hit its record crop level, and this winter crop's forecast 21.2m t and thats a record for the state.
"We still got really good numbers - but not as good as we had last year - for Queensland and New South Wales, they're both at the 2nd highest levels ... third highest in Victoria and fifth highest in South Australia.
"Not everyone's doing as well as WA, but to have all the states sitting in the top 5 in terms of historical production levels is quite amazing."