31 Dec 2015

Farmers expecting a tough year - survey

8:12 am on 31 December 2015

A survey of Federated Farmers members shows farmers are expecting another tough year ahead.

Federated Farmers president William Rolleston.

William Rolleston Photo: RNZ / Jemma Brackebush

President William Rolleston said the agricultural sector had been under enormous pressure in 2015 so the result was not surprising.

The survey, of more than 1100 members, found 52 percent expected market conditions to stay the same, 19 percent expected worse times ahead and 29 percent anticipated an improvement.

Mr Rolleston said 2015 was hard on farmers, not only as a result of falling prices but also because drought and floods hit their bottom lines.

"Farmers have a pretty realistic outlook on what the year ahead is likely to bring, they are not being overly optimistic and certainly there has been a mentality this year for farmers to batten down the hatches, close up the chequebooks and settle down for the long haul," he said.

Dairy farmers were slightly more optimistic than sheep and beef farmers about the coming year, the survey showed.