Reflection: Eldred Royce says there are several reasons for a 40 per cent drop in farmer numbers.
Reflection: Eldred Royce says there are several reasons for a 40 per cent drop in farmer numbers.

A Narra Tarra farmer blames the financial pressure and volatility of Australian agriculture for a 40 per cent decline in farmer numbers over the past 30 years.

Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a drop of 106,200 farmers between 1981 and 2011, with an 11 per cent (19,700) decline in numbers between 2006 and 2011.

Wheat and canola farmer Eldred Royce, who returned to his land this year after leasing it out in 2006, believed many former farmers had grown tired of battling the variables.

“It could be down to the terms of trade we’re up against,” he said.

“There’s the amount of indebtedness farmers get into, the seasonal weather and some people are affected by droughts."

Full story in today's print edition.

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