Tassie farmers most confident in country

Dairy farmers the most positive about the next 12 months

Dairy
Happy customers: While all farmers surveyed expected conditions to continue or improve, it was dairy farmers who were most positive about the next 12 months. Picture: Simon Sturzaker.

Happy customers: While all farmers surveyed expected conditions to continue or improve, it was dairy farmers who were most positive about the next 12 months. Picture: Simon Sturzaker.

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Rabobank says farmers have been the most confident for two consecutive quarters.

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For the second quarter in a row, Tasmanian farmers are the most confident and optimistic in the country, according to the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey.

The survey showed that 100 per cent of Tasmanian farmers surveyed expect the current "excellent business conditions" to either continue or improve further over the next 12 months, with dairy farmer confidence particularly strong.

The latest survey, which was completed last month, found 39 per cent of the state's farmers are expecting business conditions to improve over the coming 12 months.

While this was down from 45 per cent with that view in the previous quarter, the remaining 61 per cent of Tasmanian farmers expected a continuation of current conditions.

Rabobank regional manager for Tasmania, Stuart Whatling said seasonal and business conditions right across the state were "very positive" and producer confidence was incredibly strong.

"Commodity prices are still outstanding, and farmers reaped bumper rewards from strong prices, which are forecast to continue," he said.

"July was a wetter-than-average month, and some areas seem quite soggy, however winter rainfall overall has been average, allowing late winter planting of crops to get started.

"The conditions entering spring are generally excellent."

Read more: Dairy Australia report reveals Tasmanian record

Of those Tasmanian farmers with a positive outlook, more than three quarters (78 per cent) pointed to commodity prices as cause for their optimism (compared with 63 per cent in June).

Good seasonal conditions underpinned positive sentiment for 29 per cent of those expecting conditions to improve (this was 24 per cent last quarter).

Mr Whatling said livestock sector sentiment was currently excellent.

"These really are unprecedented times for Tasmanian livestock producers, with a sustained period of really good seasonal conditions and great prices, and the forecast that those conditions will be with them for a while."

Mr Whatling said a wet July, especially in Tasmania's northern region, had presented some challenges to livestock producers, but overall farmers were very upbeat and well positioned to invest and grow their businesses.

He said the biggest concerns stemming from COVID-19 restrictions were being reported in the horticulture and aquaculture sectors, particularly in terms of labour availability for the horticulture sector and the cost of air freight to get premium aquaculture products to key markets in Asia.

Read more: Greenham rolls out Tasmanian dairy beef pilot

Dairy farmers were the most buoyant of all farmers about their income prospects in 2021/22, with 60 per cent expecting to generate a higher gross farm income.

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