Good weather off­sets high dol­lar, peak prices

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

be­fore some ma­jor po­lit­i­cal pol­icy an­nounce­ments. While the Labour Party’s pol­icy to fast-track agri­cul­ture into the Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme was known, full de­tails of its pro­posed cap­i­tal gains tax wasn’t.

‘‘Over­all, I am par­tic­u­larly en­cour­aged by the way debt re­tire­ment is pri­ori­tised along with pro­duc­tive in­vest­ment on­farm,’’ Mr Wills con­cluded.

High­lights from the July 2011 Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Farm Con­fi­dence Sur­vey

A net 16.4 per cent of re­spon­dents are ex­pect­ing im­prove­ment in the gen­eral econ­omy over the com­ing 12 months, up 11.6 points on Jan­uary. Con­fi­dence has in­creased for all in­dus­try groups and re­gions but that of dairy farm­ers in­creased by some­what less than that of meat and fi­bre farm­ers and grains farm­ers.

As has been the case in pre­vi­ous sur­veys re­spon­dents are con­sid­er­ably more pos­i­tive about the prof­itabil­ity of their own farms. A net 45.8 per cent of re­spon­dents are ex­pect­ing im­prove­ment in their prof­itabil­ity over the com­ing 12 months, up 20.3 points on Jan­uary. Op­ti­mism about prof­itabil­ity was up for all in­dus­try groups, al­though again the in­crease for dairy farm­ers was less than the other groups. Af­ter lag­ging in Jan­uary, North Is­land re­spon­dents have caught up with those from the South Is­land.

Pro­duc­tion is ex­pected to in­crease with few con­cerns at this stage about ad­verse weather con­di­tions. A net 50.4 per cent of farm­ers ex­pect to in­crease pro­duc­tion over the com­ing 12 months, up 25.6 points on Jan­uary. In Jan­uary, the weather was the ma­jor concern of farm­ers and this was im­pact­ing on pro­duc­tion fore­casts and on farm prof­itabil­ity.

More farm­ers are ex­pect­ing to in­crease spend­ing. A net 33.3 per cent of farm­ers ex­pect to in­crease spend­ing over the com­ing 12 months, up 11.7 points on Jan­uary. In part this re­flects im­proved con­fi­dence but there is also a price ef­fect with many farm­ers con­cerned about in­creas­ing in­put costs.

Farm­ers are even more fo­cused on debt re­duc­tion with an­other large in­crease in the pro­por­tion of farm­ers ex­pect­ing to re­duce debt. A net 45.6 per cent of farm­ers ex­pect to re­duce spend­ing over the com­ing 12 months, up 20.3 points.

The farm labour mar­ket is highly sea­sonal but it also ap­pears that it has tight­ened. A net 5.7 per cent of re­spon­dents re­ported it harder to find skilled and mo­ti­vated staff over the past six months, down 0.1 points com­pared with Jan­uary 2011 but up 7.6 points com­pared with the same time last year.

Re­flect­ing re­cent com­ments from the Labour Party on when agri­cul­tural bi­o­log­i­cal emis­sions should be brought into the Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme. Cli­mate change pol­icy and the scheme has once again be­come the big­gest is­sue for farm­ers with 14.5 per cent of re­spon­dents cit­ing it as their sin­gle big­gest is­sue,

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