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Farming sector fears worst

25 September 2006

AUSTRALIA - The present drought is expected to be the most damaging in more than a century and threatens to cut the value of agricultural production by billions of dollars.

As promising clouds again failed to provide sufficient rain in most parts of South Australia over the weekend, estimates for the national grain crop have already been cut by 36 per cent and are expected to fall much further.

The farming sector fears a big dry even worse than the 2002 drought, the nation's worst since federation.

Four years ago, a widespread lack of rain cut the value of agricultural production by about $7 billion.

Private industry forecasts for the next wine grape harvest show production will fall by 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes unless significant rain falls soon.

The drought is also having a severe impact on the livestock, dairy, pork and poultry sectors and fruit and vegetable industries.

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Source: Advertiser Adelaide



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