Share-farming options for the Australian sugar industry : SRDC final report BSS298
The Australian sugar industry is faced with an aging farmer population, high land prices that limit expansion and a large number of small farms. Share farming and leasing have the potential to solve these three problems.This report presents a snap shot of share-farming and farm-leasing practices in four cane-growing regions: Cairns, Mackay, Bundaberg-Maryborough and New South Wales. Key learnings from the project include:Leasing is the most common arrangement in Queensland, while only share-farming arrangements were found in New South Wales;Arrangements vary considerably among regions;Land ?rents? vary from under 10% to over 25% of gross income;Arrangements where rent is varied according to sugar price and production are becoming more common;Share farmers and lessees all considered ?It was worth it?;Greater economy of scale was the main reason given;Land owners enjoy tax and other benefits from retaining the land for agricultural use;Share farming is a way of securing land for future generations.The information contained in this report and subsequent articles should help potential share farmers and lessees as well as land owners understand the issues associated with farming on another?s land. An expansion of share farming and leasing will improve viability for individual farmers and reduce the loss of productive land from the industry.