Water Week

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Worst financial crisis for farmers since 1940s: drought cuts Aus winter-crop by one-third

Posted by waterweek on 25 September 2007

The drought has reduced the national winter crop by a third, pushing farmers into an almost unprecedented financial crisis – one they have not experienced since World War II, wrote Asa Wahlquist in The Australian (19/9/2007, p.8).

ABARE forecasts: Farmers have not had such a poor post-drought crop since the 1940s, with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics forecasting a limp rebound from last winter’s severely depleted harvest. What had farmers particularly worried was that in September last year the ABARE forecast was for 26 million tonnes. But the spring rains failed and the crop came in at just 15.7 million tonnes. ABARE has forecast a wheat crop of 15.5 million, down from the June estimate of 22.5 million tonnes, and below the five-year average of 21.6 million tonnes.

NSW the worst: NSW suffered the biggest decline, along with South Austra­lia. The South Australian grain growing areas suffered a lack of rain, abnormally high temperatures and strong winds. Total winter rainfall across Western Australia has been be­low average, but conditions in the south were better than in the northern grain belt. Victoria has been going on showers for the last couple of weeks and seemed to be hanging on.

The Australian, 19/9/2007, p. 8

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