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ABARES survey confirms growers at the heart of industry growth

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Canegrowers, Media Release, 6 December 2021

Hard work and a willingness to adopt new technology and practices are behind the positive results in an ABARES survey of sugarcane farms according to peak grower group CANEGROWERS. 

cane harvest

The Financial performance of sugarcane farmers 2020-21 report indicates improved financial performance and profitability for cane farms since 2013-14 due to higher yields, larger farms and lower interest payments. 

“While monthly and annual farm budgeting can be challenging in the face of increasing costs, growers should feel heartened that over the long term, the survey indicated that the industry appears to have been on an upward trajectory,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.  

“The report indicates that a key reason is higher yields in some districts coming from hard work and constantly improving the farming system so growers should feel proud of their efforts. 

“The average farm size in the sugarcane industry has also increased over the period showing that while some people may have retired out of the industry, farm consolidation has kept much of the land in cane production because growers have invested in expanding their businesses. 

“The report also helpfully identifies what a valuable and consistent contributor the sugarcane industry is to the economy of Australia and Queensland in particular – at $1.3 billion gross value of production per year.”  

The ABARES report is another positive signal for the future of the sugarcane industry and provides useful information as work continues on a new Sugarcane Industry Roadmap, due to be completed early next year.

“While this analysis shows there are many opportunities in our industry, since the report was written we have seen wet weather and mill reliability problems lengthen the current harvest and put some regions at risk of cane being left in the field, meaning growers may miss out on some of their expected income from the current crop,” Mr Galligan said.

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