Many farmers have a bleak outlook for 2013.
Rabobank's latest quarterly survey of rural confidence found about a third of farmers expect the rural economy to deteriorate over the coming year.
Only 18% of the 450 farmers who took part in the survey said they expect their lot to improve.
Rabobank says poor global economic conditions and the dry weather are taking their toll on farmer spirits.
This is especially true in the sheep and beef sector, where 55% of the farmers surveyed said they expect their own business performance to worsen in 2013.