A report  by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences' (ABARES), based on a survey of irrigation farms in the Murray-Darling basin, has found that many irrigators have faced heavy losses in recent years.


The survey, which covered 2009-10, found that severe reductions in water availability in recent years have affected irrigators’ incomes and regional economies.


Among the worst hit were dairy producers in the Loddon-Avoca region who faced average annual losses of between $40,000 and $90,000.


The report presents a summary of results by industry and region from the latest irrigation survey, covering 2009–10, and preliminary estimates for 2010–11. Results from the previous three surveys are reported in Ashton and Oliver (2011).


The survey was co-funded by the National Water Commission and the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.


The report is available http://www.daff.gov.au/abares