AUSTRALIAN farmers are on track to smash production value and volume records in 2021-22 on the back of exceptional seasonal conditions and a surge in world commodity prices, according to ABARES Agricultural Commodities: December Quarter.

The forecast comes despite recent flood and rain damage in the eastern states. ABARES forecasts a history-making agricultural gross production value of $78 billion – $5.4 billion more than predicted a few months ago.

The value of agricultural exports is forecast to hit a record $61 billion.

Production is expected to increase year-on-year for every major livestock commodity and almost every major crop commodity – with farmers forecast to produce the largest volume ever.

ABARES executive director Dr Jared Greenville said Australia was enjoying an extraordinary combination of favourable conditions and 30-year price highs.

“It would be the first time in at least half a century that production will increase for so many products at the same time,” Dr Greenville said.

“And if these forecasts are realised, 2021-22 will see the largest total volume of agricultural commodities Australia has ever produced.”

Dr Greenville said prices are also at multi-year highs for many agricultural commodities.

“Higher export volumes and higher prices are forecast for almost every major export commodity, with the total value of agricultural exports being revised up $6.5 billion to $61 billion, also an all-time high,” he said.

“This uplift in Australian agricultural production value and volume is unprecedented and the result of exceptional growing conditions here and poor seasons being experienced by key overseas competitors.”

However, Dr Greenville said there is uncertainty how long prices will remain at these levels – and supply chain disruptions, higher fertiliser prices and heavy rainfall domestically will continue to be watch points.

“This forecast accounts for the unfortunately timed substantial rainfall and localised flooding in east coast growing regions during November,” he said.

“This will delay harvests and result in some crop losses, but this is unlikely to reduce national harvest tonnage significantly. The larger impact will be on grain quality, with a higher than usual proportion of the crop being lower-value feed-grade wheat.”

Minister for agriculture David Littleproud says latest ABARES forecasting confirms that while the recent deluge has hurt eastern state producers, agriculture nationally is making the most of exceptional growing conditions and high world commodity prices.

“This latest forecast demonstrates the extraordinary role farmers are playing in the nation’s economic recovery,” Minister Littleproud said.

“I know a number of farmers are experiencing difficult conditions with recent rain and flooding and are assessing damage to their farms and crops. Whether it’s flooding, drought, bushfires or COVID, our farmers are quietly going about their work, producing premium food and fibre for Australia and the world.”