Crops a mixed bag for farmers across Australia

Farm production remains in a state of flux for many agricultural communities and in growing regions throughout Australia as dry weather lingers and finishing rains abstain.

Mixed fortunes also abound in different farming locations in various states - but most producers remain optimistic of a solid finish and haven’t yet hit the panic button calling out for any form of federal government intervention.

Fairfax Agricultural Media spoke to rural MPs from different agricultural reliant electorates in varying jurisdictions about the seasonal conditions their producers are experiencing in their political backyards.

Some of them have farmers who are facing serious extended dry spells that have decimated crops and have now virtually abandoned any hope of a good season’s ending.

In contrast, others are looking forward to a positive return with good commodity prices underpinning fiscal fortunes and still have an eye on the skies, waiting in hope.

Top End
In the NT, Labor MP Warren Snowden’s electorate of Lingiari covers almost the entire Territory and farming conditions have suffered some dry but overall it’s positive.

Mr Snowden held talks today with the Northern Territory Farmers Association and other sources like pastoralists to get an accurate picture of the seasonal conditions.

He said farmers are saying they’ve had a very good season, which has been unusually hot and dry, meaning the mango growing season was shorter but they’ve also produced a good high quality crop which experienced no problems with pests like geese.

Experienced farmer and NSW Nationals MP for Parkes Mark Coulton said right across his large agricultural electorate “prospects are very poor”.

“West of the Newell Highway many farmers are experiencing complete crop failure and in other areas the yields are greatly reduced,” he said.

“A combination of the past six weeks of frost and unusually high temperatures has really nailed the lid on these crops.”

Adding insult to injury, Mr Coulton said some farmers had suffered four bad seasons in the past five years.

“This time last year the southern half of my electorate the Macquarie Valley and Lachlan Valley were underwater and experiencing crop losses through flooding but in that Walgett area, out of five years, this is their fourth failure,” he said.


Publication date: 10/4/2017

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