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Report confirms: 2012 is a good year to be a farmer

6 March 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the release of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) forecast for Australia’s agricultural commodities, which shows that the agricultural sector will continue to grow over the short and medium term.

NFF President Jock Laurie said the ABARES report, which shows that for the first time in three decades, agricultural profits are expected to rise across all Australian states and territories in 2012, supports the NFF prediction that 2012 will be a good year to be an Australian farmer.

“2012 is proving to be a very positive year. The ABARES report shows that for the first time in 30 years, farm business profit and the rate of return will be positive for all states and for all of the broadacre industries, including cropping and livestock,” Mr Laurie said.

“This is a very positive picture for Australian farmers, compared to the drought conditions we have faced over the previous decade.

“Obviously, many farmers and rural communities across eastern Australia are currently facing flood conditions, which have already caused millions, if not billions, of dollars damage to crops, livestock and vital infrastructure like roads, railways and fences.

“This is a very difficult time for affected farmers – and we can only hope that in the long-term, these floods will return moisture to the soil and help set up those farmers for good future seasons. After all, farmers are very resilient,” Mr Laurie said.

The ABARES report follows the release of the NFF Farm Facts for 2012 last week, which showed that farm export earnings for 2010-11 equalled $32.5 billion. The ABARES report predicts that farm export earnings will rise by 9.4 percent in this financial year to $35.5 billion.

“Australian agriculture continues to be a solid performer and makes important contributions to Australia’s society, economy and environment,” Mr Laurie said.

“After a very challenging period, these predictions show that the agricultural sector and our farmers are back on their feet. The focus now must be on planning ahead, ensuring a strong and sustainable future for the agricultural sector, and the NFF’s Blueprint for Australian Agriculture will play a vital role in this,” Mr Laurie said.

The NFF’s General Manager, Policy, Charlie McElhone will speak on the future of Australian farming at ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra tomorrow, while NFF President Jock Laurie will host a Blueprint for Australian Agriculture forum in Toowoomba.

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