Talk recent history with regional Australians and they’ll reflect on the highs and lows of farming, quickly pointing to the great rains that seeded local prosperity or severe drought that undid everything that was good.
They’ll leap to times when high commodity prices brought great return for effort or when market demands put stress on the usual farm business mix, forcing a move to diversify.
The issue here though is that none of these conditions are all that controllable. These environmental and macro-economic factors are the things that put primary industry through good times and bad and make it such a fascinating, if not frustrating, industry.
Talk about the future with regional Australians and they’ll sit forward and suggest there might be a resurgence in farming, observing that agribusiness has a bright outlook that will contribute significantly to the nation’s strong broader economic performance.
If they have had opportunity to appreciate the bigger picture they’ll tell you that the gross value of farm production is forecast to increase by 8.3 per cent to a record $63.8 billion in 2016-17 while export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to sit at $48.7 billion in 2017-18, higher than the forecasted $47.7 billion in 2016-17 (ABARES, March 2017 Outlook).
This latest surge in production and success, while influenced by good seasons and global trends, is far from a blip on the radar. It’s a representation of an industry constantly looking to improve and innovate.
It also comes at a time when new ideas, technologies, investment and most importantly new talent, are starting to trickle into the sector. It will be interesting t...
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