7 Nov 2013

Farmer confidence at five-year high

3:05 pm on 7 November 2013

The Federated Farmers president says a five-year high in farmer confidence makes up for recent bad years, with droughts and low returns.

The latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey shows farmers are increasingly optimistic about the outlook for both their own enterprise and the agricultural sector.

Bruce Wills says because of the fluctuating nature of the business, farmers should be making the most of the strong dairy prices and improving outlook for the red meat sector.

He says it is a good time to reduce debt and fertilise fields that may not have been treated for the last few years, particularly in the hill country.

Mr Wills says while the next twelve months is looking very solid, it is unclear what will happen after that.

He says a lot will depend on the strength of the currency and commodity prices, which will be hugely affected by events overseas.

Mr Wills says the improved outlook for dry stock farming is particularly pleasing, with wool, sheep and beef all up well on last year.