Weeds cost farmers $4.8 billion per year: new report

Weeds cost farmers $4.8 billion per year: new report


A new report released today by the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions has found that the agricultural cost of weeds is on average, $4.8 billion per year, or $13 million a day.

National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Officer, Tony Mahar said the figure was up 20% from the last comprehensive national economic analysis carried out in 2004.

“The cost of weeds to farmers’ back pockets is growing and we need smarter, more strategic national investment in research, development and extension solutions to manage them,” Mr Mahar said.

Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) Chief Executive Officer Andreas Glanznig said weed biocontrol was one such example.

“To build on the $10 billion worth of benefits weed biocontrol RD&E has delivered to agriculture to date, Australia needs a new 10+ year national program to generate an on-going pipeline of biocontrol agents after current key major projects wind up in 2020,” Mr Glanznig said.

A more strategic approach is in line with a request by the Federal Government for the CISS to develop a 10-year national investment plan for weeds RD&E, a draft of which is currently open for feedback.

“The new National Weeds RD&E Investment Plan will play a part in unlocking agricultural innovation, a priority in NFF’s 2030 Roadmap, a plan for agriculture to achieve $100 billion in farmgate output by 2030,” Mr Mahar said.

“A new national CISS weeds RD&E program will ensure new innovative tools are delivered on-farm, quicker, putting money back into the pockets of Australian farmers.”

NRM Regions Executive Officer, Kate Andrews stressed the need for collaborative and strategic action on weeds to protect the environment and agriculture.

“Tomorrow’s weeds are already here, and we know that some 20 new weeds naturalise in the environment each year. That is 1 new weed every 18 days!

“We support a CISS National Weeds RD&E Investment Plan and welcome the Centre’s leadership in this space,” Dr Andrews said.

Download the new weeds economic impact report here www.invasives.com.au/our-publications

To view the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions draft weeds investment plan visit – www.invasives.com.au/weeds-rde-feedback

PartheniumWeed&Leucaena_IanLackington_QLD

Parthenium weed and Leucaena takes over a crop in North Queensland, causing loss of productivity for the farmer. Image by Ian Lackington.

QUICK FACTS

  • The cost of managing weeds and associated production losses are collectively costing Australian farmers $4.8 billion per year or about $13 million per day.
  • Overall, the cost of weeds has increased 20% since the last economic impact report undertaken in 2004, 15 years ago.
  • On average 1 new weed naturalises in the environment every 18 days.
  • This new economic impact assessment was led by Dr Ross McLeod from eSYS development Pty Ltd.
  • The Centre for Invasive Species Solutions has developed a 10 year draft investment plan for a new National Weeds RD&E Plan.
  • The National Farmers’ Federation and NRM Regions Australia have joined a growing call for collaborative investment in a fully funded CISS weeds RD&E program.
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