Farmers see economic bright side
Farmers are more confident now than they were in January, says the latest Federated Farmers Farm Confidence Survey which was taken at the beginning of the 2011/12 season.
‘‘Most farmers are looking on the bright side, for the general economy and particularly for their own farm businesses,’’ said Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers president and its economics and commerce spokesman.
‘‘This is despite commodity prices coming off recent peaks and the dollar being at record highs against the greenback. Any gloss taken off returns seems to have been balanced against an outstanding spell of weather at the tail end of last season.
‘‘However, since the survey was in the field the dollar has appreciated further. Relatively few believe the Government should tackle the Kiwi dollar head-on. Rather, most identified governmentled spending and borrowing as being the priority.
‘‘Economically, a reduction in government-led spending and borrowing could help moderate the exchange rate.
‘‘The Farm Confidence Survey was also undertaken up 10.4 points on January but still lower than the 30.1 per cent who cited it this time last year when the scheme was implemented.
As with the January survey, farmers consider fiscal policy, like reducing government spending and/ or government debt, should be the Government’s highest priority. 26.3 per cent of respondents cited this as their highest priority for the Government, down 1.2 points on January but up on the 14.4 per cent who cited it this time last year.