Agriculture - Twentieth Century Overview
From the earliest European settlement Western Sydney has supplied fresh food from just beyond the edge of urban development. The pattern has been repeated with urban expansion pushing up the price of land in the outlying suburbs and threatening the agricultural industry in Western and South Western Sydney. In the late 20th century agriculture does not play such a vital role but it is still a leading factor in the economy of Western Sydney with the industry worth an estimate of one billion dollars per annum. Associated industries such as transport, machinery and fertiliser are worth $3 billion to Western & South Western Sydney.
Prime agricultural land is currently under threat as additional land is sought for encroaching urban development. The decrease in land has so far been compensated by the current trends of intensive farming and techniques such as hydroponics. This will continue to be an issue well into the 21st Century. As problems with nutrients in the water supply, e.g. Hawkesbury-Nepean River, Georges River, farmers are being encouraged to practice "Best Management Practices" with farmers to adopting procedures that are agreeable to the environment.