Confidence in the Tasmanian dairy industry continues to be strong, according to the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey.
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This quarter’s survey found 40 per cent of Tasmanian dairy farmers expect conditions to improve over the year ahead.

While this was down from 82 per cent with that view last quarter, 60 per cent of dairy farmers still expected little change to current conditions (previously 18 per cent), all largely driven by commodity prices.

Of all farmers surveyed, dairy farmers were the most buoyant about their income prospects in 2021-22, with 60 per cent expecting to generate a higher gross farm income.

“Such positive farm performance projections are fuelling the ongoing investment in productivity and efficiency measures which has been ‘going gangbusters’ over the past 18 months,” Rabobank regional manager for Tasmania Stuart Whatling said.

The survey, released in September, revealed that for the second consecutive quarter, 100 per cent of the state’s farmers expect the excellent business conditions currently being experienced to either continue or improve over the year ahead, with none reporting a pessimistic view.

The quarterly survey showed little evidence of Tasmanian agricultural sentiment being negatively impacted by COVID-19 and its broader economic effects, although the horticulture and aquaculture industries have struggled with resulting labour restrictions and freight costs.

The ongoing confidence among the state’s farmers is feeding business investment plans, with Tasmanian farmers eager to invest in new equipment and infrastructure to generate greater efficiencies and productivity.

Mr Whatling said seasonal and business conditions right across the state were “very positive” and producer confidence was incredibly strong.

“Commodity prices are still outstanding, and farmers reaped bumper rewards from strong prices, which are forecast to continue,” he said.

“July was a wetter-than-average month, and some areas seem quite soggy, however winter rainfall overall has been average, allowing late winter planting of crops to get started.

“The conditions entering spring are generally excellent.”

The survey found 39 per cent of the state’s farmers are expecting business conditions to improve over the coming 12 months.

While this was down from 45 per cent with that view in the previous quarter, Mr Whatling said, the remaining 61 per cent of Tasmanian farmers expected a continuation of current conditions.

“No surveyed farmers this quarter are of the view that conditions are likely to worsen.”

Regional small, organic dairy farm industry had been rocked by Horizon Organic nonrenewal.

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