Beef farmers fortunes improve


Cash incomes look set to rise for the states cattle farmers.

Projected farm cash incomes for beef cattle producers in 2010-11 are set to improve according to ABARES 'Australian beef: Financial performance of beef cattle producing farms, 2008-2011.'
ABARES Deputy Executive Director Paul Morris said above average rainfall and abundant pasture growth across much of Australias agricultural regions has allowed producers to rebuild cattle numbers in northern and southern Australia, expanding future beef production.
The improved seasonal conditions are expected to reduce fodder expenditure and lower farm cash costs, creating higher farm cash incomes.
"Limited availability of stock and high sale yard prices are expected to result in reduced expenditure on beef cattle purchases in 2010-11 compared with 2009-10," Mr Morris said.
 Farm cash income for southern Australian beef cattle producers is forecast to increase, from $57,660 in 2009-10 to an average of $66,200 per farm in 2010-11. The smaller increase expected in southern Australia is largely due to herd rebuilding commencing later than in the north.
Cattle producers have maintained a high level of capital investment over the past decade, with the largest share dedicated to purchasing land. New investment by beef cattle producers averaged $76,000 per farm in 2009-10 and in southern Australia was significantly above the average for the previous 10 years.
Overall, beef cattle producers have strong farm equity at 30 June 2010 and based on survey results, around two-thirds are in a strong financial position with high equity and positive farm cash incomes in 2009-10.
Only four per cent of beef cattle producers are estimated to have low equity and negative farm cash income.
 This research was conducted by ABARES and commissioned by Meat and Livestock Australia in order to monitor the production and financial performance of the Australian beef cattle industry.


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