CHICKPEA SUCCESS: Cattle farmer Ian Burnett surveys the state of his farm.
CHICKPEA SUCCESS: Cattle farmer Ian Burnett surveys the state of his farm. Jessica Dorey

Survey shows fall in farming confidence

THE Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey results show confidence in Queensland's agricultural sector has fallen but, remains positive.

The survey of more than 1000 primary producers throughout Australia showed that Queensland's net rural confidence dropped from 36% to 29% this quarter.

The survey found only 41% of Queensland producers expect the agricultural economy to improve during the next 12 months, decreasing from 46% last quarter.

Results also showed that 12% of respondents expected the industry conditions to deteriorate over the next 12 months, an increase from 10% last year.

Rabobank regional manager Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Brad James said the results of the survey matched what was being seen on the ground around the state.

"By and large the season has been fairly good across most of the regions,” Mr James said.

"While there are still some areas looking for follow-up rain, for many there has been unseasonal winter rain that has set a good foundation going into summer,” he said.

While all commodities reported positive confidence for the quarter, cotton was a standout.

"The commodity doubled its positive indices this quarter,” Mr James said.

"We've continued to see firm cotton prices in recent times and the general consensus is for this to remain the case for the 2017 crop,” he said.

Overall, grains reported the lowest confidence throughout all of Australia, but due to the successful chickpea harvest, Queensland's confidence in grains was the highest out of any state.

Caution in the beef industry was also highlighted, with confidence falling from 46% last quarter to 28%.

Local mixed enterprise farmer Ian Burnett was among many farmers in the region to enjoy a successful chickpea season.

Mr Burnett said overall the results reflected the region accurately.

"There have been excellent results with chickpeas this season with high yields and good prices,” he said.

"It has brought a huge injection of income into the region which will flow on and benefit the wider community.”

With chickpea harvested Mr Burnett, like many farmers in the region, was now looking forward to a prosperous cotton season.

"The introduction of Bollgard 3 has allowed farmers to spread the cotton planting which will provide more opportunity for a successful season,” he said.

Even though the survey showed a slight fall in confidence in the state, Mr Burnett said he had a positive outlook on the summer season ahead.

And unlike some, he was optimistic about the cattle industry.

"The cattle industry is holding quite well. It looks to be a good summer; I'm optimistic rainfall will continue, which would be beneficial for grass growth and livestock.

"All in all, the outlook for the area is quite positive.”


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