Federated Farmers says farmer confidence has plummeted unexpectedly in its latest survey.
The farm confidence survey shows that confidence in profitability at the beginning of the 2012/2013 season has dropped sharply from January.
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says most farmers now expect their profitability will worsen over the coming year.
He says last season was probably one of the best in recent times for dairy, meat and wool and would be difficult to top.
But recent large falls in commodity prices and the high dollar eating into farmgate returns have contributed to the slump in confidence.
The survey, done earlier this month, shows a net 39% of respondents expect general economic conditions to worsen over the next 12 months. That's down by 34 points on January.
A net 39% expect their own farm profitability to worsen over the next 12 months. That's down by more than 70 points on the previous survey.