Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), Media Release, 6 December 2021
The ABARES Financial performance of sugarcane farms 2020–21 to 2021–22 survey finds Australian sugarcane farm cash income was 91 per cent higher compared to 2013-14, reaching an average around $190,800 in 2020-21.
ABARES Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said the the improved financial performance of sugarcane farms since the previous survey in 2013-14 is due to adjustment in the industry, increased sugarcane production per farm and higher average yields.
“While a number of smaller, less profitable farms exited the industry, the remaining farms got larger and also increased their cane yields. But these changes vary across the regions,” Dr Greenville said.
“Overall industry value remained stable over the period, contributing $1.3 billion to total agriculture gross value of production in 2020-21.”
The survey was commissioned by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) and Sugar Research Australia (SRA), with sugarcane making up four per cent (around 3000) of Australia’s farms and accounting for $1.33 billion in gross value of production.
QDAF Director-General Bob Gee said the project had generated a wealth of data and other evidence for the industry to support the ongoing development of this important Queensland industry.
“The Queensland Government’s funding support for this analysis reflects the value we see in sugarcane industry stakeholders having access to comprehensive and timely statistics on the physical and financial characteristics regarding farm management practices,” Mr Gee said.
“Despite the last survey being conducted in 2013-14, the results were not surprising as the sugarcane industry continues to grow.”
SRA Chief Executive Officer Roslyn Baker said the Australian sugarcane industry has an exciting future.
“Sugarcane is a resilient crop and world demand for raw sugar is growing. The industry’s future is positive with some exciting opportunities to build grower profitability through complementary value adds,” Ms Baker said.
Questions about farm management practices were also asked as part of the survey, covering constraints to productivity, nutrient management, use of technology and harvesting practices.