27 Jul 2010

Growers cautiously optimistic about future, report shows

3:43 pm on 27 July 2010

A new report shows growers are cautiously optimistic about their future profitability despite falling returns for their crops over the past year.

The Ministry of Agriculture has released its annual horticulture and arable farm monitoring report, which provides an overview of the economic performance of orchards, vineyards and arable farms for the past year, as well as growers' views of the coming year.

The report found that growers are cautiously optimistic about the future, as the world continues to recover from the financial crisis.

MAF senior policy analyst Annette Carey says growers are budgeting for steady or improving profitability in 2010-11.

However, some growers, particularly grape growers, are more uncertain about the outlook, she says.

Grain growers 'pessimistic'

Federated Farmers says its latest confidence survey shows a strong, underlying pessimism among grain growers.

The federation says this relates to industry factors that it is investigating.

Federated Farmers' Grains Council has complained to the Commerce Commission about mills paying local wheat growers a lot less than they are paying for imported Australian wheat.

The survey shows farmer confidence has fallen a little since January, with about 3%expecting the economy to improve.

It says dairy farmers are the most optimistic, but sheep and beef farmers are also worried about the state of their sector.