Despite the impact of recent floods on the rural sector, Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has assured farmers that there is still reason to be optimistic.
In a teleconference held on Monday with his state and territory counterparts, Senator Ludwig assured ministers and the National Farmers Federation that based on information from the government’s agricultural forecaster, predictions for summer crop yields were still high.
The final cost of the floods, however, may not be known for some time, Senator Ludwig warned, noting that "some primary producers have been fortunate to harvest their crops early, but for others properties have been flooded and crops damaged."
Conversely, areas of the country not directly affected by the flooding will generally benefit from improvements in soil moisture and water availability, Senator Ludwig added.
Additional income support payments were announced by the government on Monday, in addition to $1,000 emergency loans already offered to Queensland producers.
Senator Ludwig said that it is not known how significant the damage bill from the floods will eventually run.