Survey results are in
Lack of rain makes farmers’ confidence slide
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.
HIT: Confidence among Queensland producers is declining as autumn rainfall failed to eventuate.