Tip News

March 29, 2020

Drought slashes Australian crop output to record low - Tip News

Drought slashes Australian crop output to record low

Drought slashes Australian crop output to record low
'Swathes of Australian farmland have suffered three or more years of drought' - By: AFP/File Peter PARKS

Australia's hottest and driest year on record has slashed crop production, with summer output expected to fall to the lowest levels on record, according to official projections released Tuesday.

The country's agriculture department said it expects production of crops like sorghum, cotton and rice to fall 66 percent -- the lowest levels since records began in 1980-81.

"It is the lowest summer crop production in this period by a large margin," Peter Collins, a senior economist with the department's statistical body ABARES told AFP.

Early February downpours are likely to have come too late to help farmers.

Swathes of Australian farmland have suffered three or more years of drought. But 2019 saw rainfall below the previous record low set in 1902 and average temperatures 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above the previous warmest year in 2013.

The fall in the summer forecast follows a drop of winter crops -- which includes wheat, a major cash crop -- by an estimated five percent.

Australia is one of the world's leading agricultural producers, with the sector making up around three percent of total GDP.

The climate-change-fuelled drought also exacerbated a bushfire season that ripped through more than 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of tinder-dry landscape in Australia's south and east, killing 33 people.

Short link: https://tipnews.com/u/MTIzMzk0

See also:

Related articles

Fauci says coronavirus could claim up to 200,000 US lives

Fauci says coronavirus could claim up to 200,000 US lives

A senior US scientist issued a cautious prediction Sunday that the novel coronavirus could claim as many as 200,000 lives in the United States, as state and local officials described increasingly desperate shortages in hard-pressed hospitals. Dr. Anthony Fauci

Plane catches fire on takeoff at Philippine airport, eight dead

Plane catches fire on takeoff at Philippine airport, eight dead

A Japan-bound plane caught fire on takeoff at Manila airport in the Philippines late Sunday, killing all eight people on board, airport authorities said.The Westwind aircraft was headed for Haneda airport on a medical evacuation mission carrying six Filipino c