From drought to flooding, fires to hail-stones, pests and parasites the life of farming is not the industry it once was. It’s getting tougher to make a profit and be competitive in the current market.
Profitability is a threat in every industry but looking at the statistics in farming it’s simply startling. The average farm owes over $460,000 ($1.4 million for cattlemen) and has lost money 7 out of the last 22 years. Average yields have plummeted by 80%. The costs of farming continue to rise, since 1970 fertiliser prices have skyrocketed a jaw-dropping 1,560%.
Since Australia’s European settlement 80% of farmed soils’ carbon has been lost. The use of Nitrogen fertiliser has decreased in efficiency by 66% since 1970 and has caused lower nutrient uptake in crops and pastures.
Farmers spend an approximate $3 billion on weed, pest, and soil problems every year. Pesticides are just not working. There are now 388 weeds and 577 insects that are resistant to pesticides.*
Poor nutrition and ineffective drenches are just some of the challenges facing farmers. It is staggering to know that parasite resistance to drenches occurs on 90% of farms. Research has found that calving rates for pastured cows with poor nutrition are 90% lower than cows with optimum nutrition.
Exposure to traditional pesticides is causing high rates of disease for farmers and their families. For farmers there is a 40.8% higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. Farmers and their families are seeing 79.5% higher incidence for leukemia and lymphoma. Male farmers have a 136.7% higher incidence of prostate cancer.