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Farmer confidence reaches three-year high

As the rain has fallen, Victorian farmers have become more confident about their prospects across dairy, grains, beef and sheep.

June 7, 2014 5:27am

The latest Rabobank Rural Confidence survey has confidence in the agricultural sector at a three-year high.

The survey said strong sentiment in the Victorian farming sector had been largely underpinned by the dairy industry.

However, confidence had rallied among beef and sheep producers on the back of rain and the associated recovery in market prices.

Meanwhile, grain growers had retained a positive outlook on the season and that was likely to rise further on the back of more rain last weekend that has cemented the autumn break.

Rabobank state manager Todd Charteris said farmers across the state were already buoyed by fantastic autumn rains that arrived at just the right time.

‘‘Widespread rains have seen a flurry of activity with the winter crop pretty much all in on an excellent sub-soil moisture profile and establishment has been further boosted by the unseasonably mild conditions that we have been experiencing in recent weeks,’’ he said.

The survey also indicated farmers had strong longer-term confidence in the industry, with 28 per cent intending to expand operations.

Mr Charteris said markets had also responded to improved seasonal conditions not only in Victoria, but also across much of southern and central NSW as well as parts of Queensland.

‘‘Confidence has really picked up among beef graziers, with the flush of feed enabling farmers to hold on to stock or look at restocking,’’ he said.

Confidence remains robust among Victorian dairy farmers, with 61 per cent expecting the next year to be better than the last.

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