Farming has long been considered a self-sustaining business, but the latest government estimates show that, with a few exceptions, farming has not kept pace with the changing nature of the country’s agricultural economy.
In fact, it is now estimated that the average farmer in rural Australia is earning more than they did five years ago, and the gap has widened dramatically over the last decade.
But that trend has not gone unnoticed.
While there has been some good news over the past five years, many of the measures the Government has taken to tackle the changing landscape of farming have been ineffective.
And this is where the Government’s changes to the Farm Security Benefits Act could be of greatest benefit to rural communities.
Farm Security and Agriculture (FSAA) is the Government-funded National Farmers’ Union-funded program that helps farmers in rural areas to get their fields up to standard with their crops.
The program is aimed at providing farmers with a steady stream of cash to support their farming operations.
This includes financial assistance for crop insurance premiums, which can cover a huge amount of farm costs.
It is also an important source of income for many farmers who are not self-sufficient and who rely on financial support from the Government.
The latest estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that between December 2015 and December 2016, the program received $22.3 billion, or 6.4 per cent of the total farm revenue in the country.
But while that was a large amount, it was not a very significant increase from the previous financial year.
In the 2015-16 financial year, the Government provided the program with $8.9 billion, but that money came to just $1.9billion in the 2016-17 financial year — a decrease of 2.9 per cent.
The Government was also able to secure additional funds through a new “land value guarantee scheme”, which is aimed to provide the program cash flow.
This scheme is designed to provide farmers with the option of purchasing land from a government land sale, or from a private land owner.
This means that the Government gets a cash payment for the land, and is able to sell it for cash or property value.
The new scheme was introduced in 2017, and it has seen some success, with the Government receiving more than $4.3billion from the scheme in the current financial year alone.
However, in the same year, it only received $2.1billion, a decrease from the $2billion the previous year.
This indicates that the scheme is having some difficulties securing funding, and some farmers are saying that it is not working as intended.
“This is one of the most significant changes to our farm security program in the past 15 years,” Farm Security Queensland executive director David O’Brien said.
“But I would argue it is one that has been badly missed in recent years.”
The main thing that is missing is the money that the farmers need to be able to pay their farm bills, O’Briensays.
“It is not that farmers are having a tough time; it is that the cash flow has not been there,” he said.
This has resulted in many rural farmers choosing to turn to alternative methods of income to make ends meet.
“The new scheme will provide the farmer with some income, but it will not make a significant difference,” O’Connor says.
“What the Government needs to do is create an alternative revenue stream for farmers and their families.”
He says that the new scheme, as currently structured, will not address the needs of many farmers in particular.
The main problem with the scheme, he says, is that it has been so successful that farmers can only buy up to four acres of land.
“You can buy up one acre of land and you can’t buy any more,” he says.
This is because the Government pays farmers who have already owned the land for five years and then buy up more land for another five years.
But this method is expensive.
Farmers are also struggling to find ways of paying their mortgage and rent on their land, which are essential to make sure that they are able to cover their debts.
Some of these issues, Oleson says, have been addressed by the introduction of “cash flow management”, which allows farmers to buy their farm with cash.
This option has not always worked for some farmers, but he believes that it will be an important tool for the future.
“There is a lot of money that will be saved if this is the way that the program is structured,” he adds.
“We will be able now to help farmers buy up the land and get on with farming, but we will also be able and encouraged to help more farmers to grow their business and make a contribution to the community.”
The Government’s farm security plan is one part of a wider package of measures aimed at helping rural communities make the most of the changing agricultural landscape.
The first of these measures is the Rural Growth Package, which was introduced last