Australia no longer living on the sheep’s back
Australia’s sheep flock fell to its lowest level in 113 years with a fall of seven per cent in 2018-19 to 66 million sheep, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Sarah Kiely from the ABS said: “Worsening drought and lack of feed in the eastern states forced many sheep and cattle producers to destock with the national sheep flock at its lowest level since 1905. Following a similar pattern, the beef cattle herd reduced six per cent to 22 million head.”
Despite the tough conditions experienced by many farmers, the total value of Australian agriculture increased three per cent to $60 billion.
The increase came largely off the back of drought related destocking, with the total value of livestock disposals up six per cent to $21 billion.
There was a seven per cent increase in the value of cattle disposals, to $13 billion, while the value of sheep and lamb disposals was up five per cent to $4 billion.
Do you think the drought and farmers risked being forgotten about during the COVID-19 crisis?