4653.0 - Environment and Energy News, Dec 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/01/2009   
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ADVERSE SEASONAL CONDITIONS AFFECT AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION


Continuing unfavourable conditions and lack of water kept agricultural production down during 2007–08, according to Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia (Preliminary) 2007–08 (cat. no. 7111.0), released in November 2008.

Rice plantings dropped to the lowest levels since 1927, from 20,000 hectares in 2006–07 to 3,000 hectares in 2007–08, while production was down 86% to 23,000 tonnes.

Wheat production increased by 28%. Barley production rose by 69% which was still below the average production of the previous five years. Cotton lint production fell 44%, with the area planted to cotton the lowest since 1980–81. Plantings of grain sorghum was a
record high of one million hectares, leading to a tripling in production to 4 million tonnes.

For further information, contact Adrian Bugg (03) 6222 5850 or email: adrian.bugg@abs.gov.au