10 November 2023, AU: Pests and weeds are costing farmers a combined $5.3 billion a year in both management and production loss.
Australian farmers are spending $3.8 billion a year to control vertebrate pests and weeds and suffering production losses of 1.5 billion.
ABARES Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said the latest ABARES report, Cost of established pest animals and weeds to Australian agricultural producers, was an eye-opening reminder of the immense task of managing pests and weeds.
“Costs vary across industries and type of pest and weed, with New South Wales accounting for the largest share of estimated costs at 26%, followed by Western Australia at 25%, and Victoria and Queensland at each 17%,” Dr Greenville said.
“Some farmers are able to manage and reduce damage from pest animals and weeds, but the cost of management is high and outright elimination is much harder.
“Despite their best efforts, agricultural producers still lose an estimated $1.5 billion a year in damage to crops and livestock.
“The biggest impact was from weeds, which contributed 82% of the cost to farmers.
“Vertebrate pests still have a significant impact on farmers. Foxes, rabbits, feral pigs, wild dogs and goats collectively cost landholders $866 million every year.
“It also absorbs time and effort – around 72% of the estimated cost is in the working hours devoted to managing pests and weeds.”
The latest ABARES report, Cost of established pest animals and weeds to Australian agricultural producers, can be read here: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/research-topics/biosecurity/biosecurity-economics/cost-of-established-pest-animals-and-weeds-to-australian-agricultural-producers.
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