Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


R S. Kingwell


Farm indebtedness, Surveys, Western Australia

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In recent years many farms in Western Australia's wheat-growing areas have experienced adverse seasons. For example, the 1983-84 season was characterised by a late start, dry spring and wet harvest which resulted in many farms suffering a combination of low yields and the downgrading or dockage of their grain.

Poor seasons and poor profitability prospects for wheat-growing caused some concern about farm indebtedness in these areas.

In late 1983, a Parlimentary select committee was appointed to inquire into rural hardship. The State Minister for Agriculture also announced that the Department of Agriculture would conduct a farm survey to determine the nature and extent of the Western Australian farm debt.

This article summarizes the results of the farm debt survey and provides information about the capacities of farms to service their debts in the Western Austrsralian wheatbelt and its regions.