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The Queensland Rural Debt Survey ascertains the extent, nature and size of total rural indebtedness in Queensland.

Historically, farmers and rural enterprises have financed debt through commercial credit providers, principally by the major trading banks and lending institutions including QRIDA. Rural businesses operate in a dynamic environment and debt levels continue to be impacted by many factors such as markets and weather.

The 2019 Queensland Rural Debt Survey ascertains the extent, nature and size of total rural indebtedness in Queensland as at 31 December 2019. Crucial to the 2019 Survey has been the analysis of movement in rural debt since the previous 2017 survey period. QRIDA has delivered the 2019 Survey in collaboration with the Queensland Government Statistician's Office (QGSO) and with the support of all the major rural lending institutions in Queensland.

The Queensland Rural Debt Survey plays an important role in shaping government and industry policy relating to primary production enterprises in Queensland. The final report was tabled on 7 August 2020 by the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Hon Mark Furner MP.

Rural debt is defined as the total indebtedness of all farmers or rural enterprises throughout Queensland, where the servicing of the rural debt relies primarily on rural generated income.

The 2017 to 2019 period saw significant shifts in agricultural production in Queensland. The crippling drought, decreasing crop production and reduction in stock, was further amplified by the North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough event in early 2019 and the recovery effort that followed. The end of 2019 saw the start of scattered showers across other areas of the state which has not seen rain events for several years. The recovery effort and prolonged drought effects continue to develop.

Rural Debt Survey Report

Download and view the 2019 Rural Debt Survey Report in full or as an overview here.

2019 Rural Debt Survey report headlines

  • $19.10 billion

    Total debt, up 10.75% compared to 2017 ($17.24b)

  • 18,232

    Number of borrowers, down 0.56% compared to 2017 (18,335)

  • $1.05 million

    Average debt per borrower, up 11.37% compared to 2017 ($0.94m)

Video highlights

Hear QRIDA Economist, Corrie Feldman explain industry highlights for beef, grain and sugar cane from the 2019 Queensland Rural Debt Survey.

Legislation passed by the Queensland Parliament on 22 March 2017 requires QRIDA to undertake a rural debt survey in Queensland for the period January 2012 to December 2017, and subsequently every two years thereafter, subject to the establishment of a national rural debt survey.

Request a hard copy

Hard copies of the 2019 Rural Debt Survey or further information including digital versions of previous surveys can be requested by contacting QRIDA.

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Last updated
08 July 2021