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Australia: Farm cash income remains steady for vegetable growers

The average farm cash income of Australian vegetable growers remained largely unchanged at an estimated $253,000 per farm according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) data.

Australian vegetable-growing farms: an economic survey 2017–18 and 2018–19 revealed the average rate of return of Australian vegetable growing farms is estimated to have remained steady at 3.9 per cent, said ABARES Acting Executive Director, Peter Gooday.

Around 4% of all Australian farms grew vegetables for human consumption in 2017–18 (ABS 2019a). Vegetable production was the sixth-highest value agricultural industry in Australia, accounting for around 7% of the gross value of agricultural production in 2017–18.
The gross value of vegetable production increased by 5% in 2017–18 to $4.1 billion, mainly driven by increases in tomatoes, potatoes and mushrooms 

“Rates of return were above average in all states except Queensland in 2018–19. South Australia is estimated to have had the highest average rate of return, followed by Victoria and Tasmania.

“The survey found that total vegetable receipts increased slightly in 2018–19 but were offset by higher cash costs, particularly hired labour and contracts,” Mr Gooday said.

“The financial performance of farms across the sector is heavily influenced by seasonal conditions.

“In 2017–18, rainfall was well below average across most vegetable growing regions. An estimated 26 per cent of vegetable growers in Queensland reported drought conditions while a small number of growers in the Far North Coast region of New South Wales had been affected by flooding.”

ABARES has conducted an annual survey of vegetable-growing businesses since 2007 to inform industry and government about farm-level production, and provide a financial overview of the industry.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Vegetable Fund research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government.

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