Farmers ConfidenceMonday, Oct 15, 2001
The Rabobank rural confidence survey shows that farmers are aware that there is reason to be less optimistic
about the nest seasons results – both for price and production.
The survey is significant for the rapid shift from optimism to a degree of pessimism in the past three
Such a quick reaction shows how well informed farmers are on matters outside the farm gate that have
the potential to affect on farm profitability.
However the farm management problem remains – how to react. Battening down the hatches too soon may
result in lost opportunity – too late - to increased risk of loss.
The sums are complex because they rely on the timing of market price changes and the timing of feed
production to be available for to the best yielding stock classes.
It is interesting that dairy farmers remain upbeat about their prospect but the meat and wool sectors
are far less confident. It could be that sheep and beef farmers are now much closer to market signals
from their buyers than the dairy industry can currently attain for its suppliers
Is the dairy confidence justified in the current unstable international political climate? Are dairy
farmers relying onoptimistic industry projections that may now be moving out of date due to fast
moving changes in political alliances and trade and price t agreements?
In spite of all the best theories and advice offered by consultants and financiers on market prospects,
how to react rests with the farmer, which is probably why as a group we are rightly considered