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Australia's Dairy, Wool and Horticulture sectors

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) released two reports this week: “Australian Dairy Industry 2000” and a “Profile of Australian Wool Producers 1995-96 to 1998-99”.

The “Australian Dairy Industry 2000” report presents key measures of farm financial performance at the national, state and regional level drawn mainly from standard industry performance benchmarks developed by the Dairy Research and Development Corporation. The report includes data on the spread of financial performance of Australian dairy farms. Top performing farms recorded farm cash incomes that were up to double the average for farms in the same region or state. The “Profile of Australian Wool Producers 1995-96 to 1998-99”.report was also based on ABARE’s annual farm surveys.

ABARE’s Executive Director Dr Brian Fisher noted that increased use of various technologies on dairy farms during the 1990s has so far not translated into improved financial performance. The modest gains in farm cash incomes achieved during the 1990s were largely driven by increased farm size. Notwithstanding this, high levels of investment in the industry over much of the 1990s may assist the industry sustain production for the next few years as adjustment takes place following deregulation.

Among sheep specialists, larger farms had higher productivity levels than smaller farms, with the disparity growing during the 1990s. Mixed enterprise farms had relatively higher productivity levels than sheep specialists, largely through technological and management advances within the cropping sector.


Two new reports this week from Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia (AFFA) highlighted the need for Australia's horticultural industry to build and maintain long term alliances in its supply chains if it is to take advantage of opportunities in Europe and Asia.

The first of the reports “Getting Fresh with Europe” is the culmination of a joint project between AFFA, Austrade and several State agencies. It identifies both the opportunities and challenges for Australian horticulture in competing in Europe.

The second report “Supply Chain Learning for Australian Agribusiness” came out of a joint industry/AFFA study mission to The Netherlands in June 2000, and provides practical information for Australian agribusiness on strengthening competitiveness by employing a 'whole of chain' approach.

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