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NSW agriculture peaks but faces tough 22/23 season

The latest data for the 21/22 farming year shows NSW agricultural production hit record levels but rain and flooding impacts indicate it's heavy weather ahead.

A NSW Department of Primary Industries report found the gross value of production for the 2021/22 financial year climbed to $23.1 billion, up $2 billion on the previous year's tally.

The result was driven by near-record cropping production and a continued rebuilding of flock and herd numbers amid favourable growing conditions and strong commodity prices.

Exports from NSW agriculture also hit a record high of $10.9 billion, propelled by international demand from export partners.

Wheat was the stand-out performer, followed by cattle and cotton.

NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole said signs were positive for the next decade. "We're well on our way to agriculture becoming a $30 billion industry by 2030," he said.

The annual performance data and insights report found despite flooding rain causing crop losses and quality downgrades on some farms, winter crop production was at near-record levels.

But the impact of heavy rain, high input costs and labour shortages will push the gross value of production down by around 10 per cent to $20.3 billion next year, it predicted.

"Farmers ... have shouldered the burden to keep supermarkets' shelves stocked despite unprecedented challenges in the past year," Mr Toole said.

The annual report found problems with supply chains, labour and consumer demand continued to cause issues for agriculture.

The war between Russia and Ukraine and ongoing trade tensions with China are also hampering some primary industry exports.

The rising prices of energy, fertiliser and freight have also increased the cost of production.

The results come while flooding for some parts of NSW continues to cause extensive crop and livestock losses for farmers.


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