Beef producers rebuild after drought
Improved seasonal conditions throughout much of Australia this year are expected to help producers rebuild cattle numbers to expand future beef production, according to a new report, Australian beef: Financial performance of beef cattle producing farms, 2007-08 to 2009-10, released by ABARE on Tuesday.
While herds are rebuilt, sales will be reduced, with farm cash incomes expected to fall by 18% to $66,000 per farm in northern Australia, and almost 50% to $31,700 per farm in southern Australia.
“The larger fall in average farm cash income in southern Australia reflects the impact of persistent dry conditions since the 2002-03 drought which has led to extensive destocking in this region,” said ABARE Deputy Executive Director Paul Morris. “This destocking is expected to limit the recovery in calving numbers in 2009-10.”
Data also showed that producers who sold cattle directly for slaughter earned the highest farm cash income per hectare. The returns from sales to other markets – live exports, feedlots and other producers – varied according to location.
The analysis also found that, while only a limited number of beef cattle producers used grain finishing prior to sale, on average these farms generated a much higher income per hectare than other producers.