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


Sheep farming, Western Australia

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Articles in this issue of the Journal of Agriculture discuss prospects for the wool industry and strategies for wool growers to increase their income and their long term viability.

The impact of low wool prices is greatest in the 'woo/belt' (see map) and the southern pastoral region. There is a need to boost the profitability of wool production and to increase income from sources other than wool in these regions.

The Productivity and Diversification Initiative for Wool Growers is refocussing Department of Agriculture resources to assist wool growers reduce costs, increase productivity and diversify into alternative enterprises.

The strategies recommended are in response to both the immediate downturn in wool prices and to the long term decline in profitability in the industry.

Despite sharp increases in 1972 and /987, prices paid for wool have increased at a lower rate than the increase in the cost of fertiliser, fuel, machinery and other farm inputs.

Productivity increases have been slight in the grazing industries over the past 25 years and have not compensated for the effect of declining terms of trade.