While confidence in Australia’s agri sector increased this quarter, farmers were slightly less optimistic about expectations for their own gross farm incomes in the 2017/18 financial year.
Overall, 31 per cent of surveyed farmers expected their incomes to increase over the coming 12 months, while 48 per cent were expecting little change in their financial position. And those expecting incomes to be down stood at 19 per cent.
This was largely influenced by a significant downward revision in incomes among sugar growers, with 57 per cent expecting lower farm incomes in 2017/18 (compared with 20 per cent in the previous survey).
In contrast, dairy incomes were pegged to improve, Mr Charteris said, with 46 per cent of surveyed dairy farmers expecting a better financial result in 2017/18.
Across all commodity sectors, the survey found farmers holding robust investment plans for the coming 12 months. Overall, 27 per cent are looking to increase investment in their farm businesses, while 66 per cent are intending to maintain it at current levels.
Mr Charteris said investment was pegged to be particularly strong in the cotton sector, with 36 per cent of cotton producers looking to increase investment over the coming 12 months. While it was also high amongst sheep and beef producers, with expansionary intentions held by 29 and 27 per cent of graziers, respectively.