Sur­vey re­sults are in

Lack of rain makes farm­ers’ con­fi­dence slide

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Weekly -

CON­FI­DENCE among Queens­land’s pri­mary pro­duc­ers has con­tin­ued to slide af­ter hopes of a po­ten­tial wet au­tumn failed to even­tu­ate fol­low­ing a promis­ing start, the lat­est quar­terly Rabobank Ru­ral Con­fi­dence Sur­vey has shown.

The state’s pro­duc­ers now have the most neg­a­tive sen­ti­ment in the coun­try, af­ter much-needed fol­low-up rain failed to fall fol­low­ing wide­spread rain in early March.

The dis­ap­point­ment was par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent among grain grow­ers who needed ad­di­tional rain to guar­an­tee both sum­mer and win­ter crops for the year.

The lat­est sur­vey – com­pleted last month – found farmer sen­ti­ment in the state had dipped to its low­est level in five years with the Queens­land net con­fi­dence in­dex now sit­ting at -35 per cent.

Over­all, 46 per cent of the state’s pro­duc­ers now hold a neg­a­tive out­look on the year ahead (up from 31 per cent in the pre­vi­ous sur­vey), while only 11 per cent ex­pected the agri­cul­tural econ­omy to improve (down slightly from 12 per cent).

A to­tal of 40 per cent ex­pected sim­i­lar con­di­tions to the past 12 months.

Rabobank re­gional man­ager for North Queens­land and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Trent McIn­doe said while the past few months had pro­vided some re­lief for parts of the north­ern cattle re­gions, drought was still the big­gest fac­tor in the down­swing in Queens­land farmer sen­ti­ment.

“Of the pro­duc­ers sur­veyed, al­most half nom­i­nated drought as their cause of con­cern, de­spite some of the north­ern re­gions be­ing now taken off the drought-de­clared list,” he said.

“Over half of the state re­mains drought de­clared and that in­cludes pre­dom­i­nantly live­stock shires in the south west as well as many of the grain-grow­ing re­gions of Cen­tral Queens­land and the Dar­ling Downs.”

In line with the de­cline in over­all con­fi­dence lev­els, Queens­land pro­duc­ers also low­ered their in­come ex­pec­ta­tions for the com­ing

12 months, with this mea­sure fall­ing to its low­est point since June 2013.

The per­cent­age ex­pect­ing gross farm in­comes to in­crease fell to just 12 per cent (from 13 per cent in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter), while the pro­por­tion of re­spon­dents ex­pect­ing lower gross farm in­comes stood at 41 per cent, up from 33 per cent.

How­ever, the ma­jor­ity

(47 per cent) ex­pected sim­i­lar in­comes to those from last year.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

HIT: Con­fi­dence among Queens­land pro­duc­ers is de­clin­ing as au­tumn rain­fall failed to even­tu­ate.

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