CheersDisbelief as farmers face crop disaster
September 18, 2007
The latest crop forecast says South Australia's yield is declining rapidly.
A promising start to the season had the June estimate for the SA crop at nearly seven million tonnes but that is now down to less than six million.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) says even that forecast is dependent on spring rains.
It says crops in the upper north of SA and on parts of Eyre Peninsula have no chance of recovering.
Buckleboo farmer Michael Schaefer says there is a feeling of disbelief among farmers.
"This is a disaster of greater proportion than we've seen before," he said.
"It's our lowest winter rainfall ever."
Nationally the crop forecast has been slashed from 37 million tonnes to less than 26 million.
Crop forecast well below five-year average
September 18, 2007
Despite promising rainfall earlier in the year the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Research and Economics (ABARE) is predicting a below average crop for this season.
There were early indications of a good crop for this year, but ABARE Commodity Analyst Amelia Brown says there has not been enough follow-up rain across most of the country.
"We had a great start, in most states above average planting rainfall area crops did go in, but that's just really fallen away over winter," she said.
Winter grain production is now expected to total 25.6 million tonnes. That is well above last season, but well below the five-year average and 11 million tonnes less than ABARE's June forecast.
Growers in New South Wales and South Australia have been the hardest hit.
The summer crop forecast has also been revised downward, with cotton and other crops that depend on irrigation expected to suffer the most.
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