Drought Dents Australia’s crop production in 2019-20

Summary

  • The value of Australian crop produced in 2019-20 dropped 4.8%.
  • WA, with 25% dip in production, cedes top slot to Victoria
  • The drought in the country impacted the produce.

The value of Australian crop produced in 2019-20 dropped 4.8% in 2019-20 owing to the drought conditions prevailing in the country.

According to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the total gross value of crops produced in Australia stood at AU$28.1 billion, down from AU$29.54 billion produced during 2018-19. The ABS attributed the loss in the value of crops to the drought conditions in the country, as it “impacted broadacre crops in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia”.

“In addition, the impact on estimates from the bushfire activity in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in early 2020 and flooding experienced in parts of New South Wales and Queensland are varied, with some respondents reporting impacts on their agricultural activity from these events,” ABS said.

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The country saw steep fall in the value of cotton, cereals and wheat produced in 2019-20.

The worst-hit was the mining hub of Western Australia, which saw the value of its agricultural produce being wiped off by one-fourth in a year to AU$5.8 billion.

New South Wales also reported a 14% drop in the value of crops produced as its gap with Victoria’s crop production value increased. The steep fall in the Western Australian and NSW crop production, was almost negated by 22% jump in the crop value of Victoria.

With this, Western Australia also ceded its crown as the largest crop producer to Victoria – a state that is one-tenth of former’s size in terms of area.

The drop in value of crops was despite 52 basis points increase in the population in the country – which would mean lesser crops available per person during the year.

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