Farmers and agricultural inspectors are at their most productive in late spring and early summer, but they can also be at their busiest in the late summer.
This week’s National Agricultural Statistics (NABS) show that there were 3,904,000 farmers and agricultural inspection stations operating across Victoria in June, the third highest monthly total since the state began keeping records in 1993.
The figure also eclipsed the previous record of 2,723,000 in May.
What’s the significance of this peak?
The most important news of the week comes from the NABS, which shows the numbers of farmers and inspection stations for June are up 13.6 per cent on the same month last year.
This is largely due to a surge in demand for the products they inspect, which is expected to continue over the summer months.
However, the spike in demand is also a result of the State Government’s decision to increase the number of agricultural inspectors on the market.
While the increase in inspections was welcomed by farmers, the Government’s response has been criticised by some, including a range of stakeholders including farmers, consumers, industry groups, and advocacy groups.
Agricultural inspectors have a huge role to play in ensuring food safety, which requires them to be in close contact with the people who produce the food, and they are also critical in detecting and reporting breaches of food safety rules.
In July and August this year, farmers were also targeted by a wave of false advertising, as farmers were told the products were contaminated by pests, or they were adulterated.
“Farmers have been particularly affected by false advertising and the resulting concerns about food safety,” Dr Sarah Goulson, of the Federation of Agriculture Inspectors (FAI), said in a statement.
The Government is reviewing its policies and regulations to make sure the food safety standards for farm equipment are maintained, and has introduced a new safety review panel that will examine how the rules are being applied across the state.
But this isn’t the only reason why farmers are seeing such a busy time of year.
The NABS data also shows that there was a rise in the number and type of commercial agricultural operations in June.
Commercial agricultural operations are those which are in business for their own profit and are not owned by a commercial farmer, such as a farmer’s store or a supermarket.
For example, an apple orchard orchard is not a commercial operation and is therefore not included in the NA.
Some of the major commercial agricultural companies are also looking at whether to change their business model, including expanding their operations.
Other factors are also at play, including an increased demand for water from the Victorian water network and a lack of a dedicated water supplier.
One of the main reasons for the increase is that Victoria is seeing record rainfall in 2017, with an average of more than 40mm per year.
This is expected due to warmer conditions in the south and east, and warmer and wetter conditions in Victoria’s west.
During June, there were also more farmers reporting they had received food poisoning, compared to the previous month.
There were also a number of other factors that were also contributing to the increase.
These included the fact that there has been a surge of farm and commercial crop losses, as well as a number more people who have not been to their farms since the harvest season began.
On the whole, there is also an increase in demand in Victoria for fruits and vegetables, and this has seen an increase of 7.4 per cent in fruit and vegetable sales, with another 8.4 million tonnes of vegetables being sold in June compared to last year’s record of 5.4.
So, why is the state in such a state?
As the state continues to experience the peak of the season, many have expressed concern about the impact it will have on the economy.
According to Victoria’s chief economist, Matthew Gee, there has already been a large increase in food stamp use, with about 10.4m people receiving it in the past year, with some of these people receiving food assistance payments of up to $150 a week.
Gee also noted that farmers were now paying more attention to the impact that weather conditions have on their crops, and are preparing to invest in weather monitoring equipment.
Even so, the NAES data also reveals that Victoria’s overall growth rate of 2.7 per cent is still below that of other states.
At the same time, Victoria’s population is increasing by more than a quarter, with Victoria’s average growth rate rising from 2.2 per cent to 2.4 over the past two years.
Are there any other issues that you would like to see tackled more quickly?
There are several issues that need to be tackled more swiftly, including improving the infrastructure that the state has to support its agricultural sector, such for water and electricity