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Confidence falls on farms

THE rising Australian dollar has dented farm confidence in WA, according to the latest rural confidence survey by banking group Rabobank.

The survey found that only 16 per cent of WA’s primary producers expect the agricultural economy to lift in the next year.

Rabobank State manager Crawford Taylor said the fall in confidence came after record grain production in 2003.

"The forecast lower grain prices for this year, combined with the prospect of not repeating last year’s record crop production means farmers are more circumspect," Mr Taylor said. 

"The strength of the Australian dollar and its effect on commodity prices have negatively impacted on sentiment."

Investment intentions are relatively stable despite the fall in rural confidence, with 29 per cent expecting to lift investment in their farm businesses in the next 12 months.

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