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Farming sector confidence high, though shaken by floods

By Staff Reporter
17 March 2022 | 9 minute read
melbourne farm reb

NSW farmers were anticipating record-level investment in the months ahead, but confidence may have somewhat faltered in the north in the aftermath of the state’s floods.

According to Rabobank’s latest rural confidence survey, NSW farmers came out of a challenging summer with hopes still high for the future. The fallout from record rainfall and ensuing flooding in the Northern Rivers remains to be seen, but across much of the state, farmers are still aiming to expand.

The survey found that just under half of the farmers polled in NSW intended to increase investment in their farm business over the course of 2022 – among the strongest investment intention polled across the country. Sheep producers recorded the highest appetite for investment.

New fencing, silos, new or upgraded yards and other infrastructure were among the upgrades earmarked for a fresh influx of money.

Prior to the floods, income projections for the year ahead were strong. While that will change in the north, farmers in other parts of the state are likely still expecting a healthy financial year, with 50 per cent anticipating an increase in revenue while 39 per cent forecast a similar return to last year.

Rabobank regional manager for northern NSW Brad James said that farmers’ confidence in a good year ahead would still bring a boost to long-term investment plans.

“This is really positive for the long-term financial resilience of the sector,” he said.

“Farmers have been using good cash returns from the past two years to consolidate debt, reinvest in their farms and prepare themselves practically and financially for the next drought.

“They are making the most of the current financial opportunities and reinvesting in their own businesses or expanding their productive capacity.”

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