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Farmer confidence drops as drought bites

Farmer confidence in NSW has plummeted to its lowest level in five years as dry conditions intensify, according to Rabobank’s quarterly Rural Confidence Survey, although there are reasons to stay positive.

Rabobank regional manager for Central NSW Toby Mendl said while the dry was creating anxiety heading into winter, farmers’ underlying long-term confidence in the sector appeared to remain sound, helped along by the prospect of strong commodity prices.

“While we certainly expected the rural confidence index to fall this quarter due to the poor seasonal conditions in the state, the scale of the drop to a five-year low reflects that it is coming off a relatively high base following a run of good seasons and generally strong commodity prices,” Mr Mendl said.