[1 August/Rural Life]

New Zealand farmer confidence fell to its lowest level in six years due to uncertainty with government policies. According to the latest Federated Farmers confidence survey, around 39 percent of farmers surveyed were pessimistic about the economic conditions over the next year. This was the lowest level recorded since 2012. ANZ’s business outlook also saw New Zealand business confidence fall to a 10 year low. Federated Farmers Vice President, Andrew Hoggard, said there seemed to be a fear factor at play and farmers were uncertain about what the coalition government would do next on key issues. He noted pessimism was a sour note among generally positive indicators. Expectations for farm profitability were up slightly. The three main concerns were regulation and compliance costs, heightened concerns about pests, diseases and biosecurity, and climate change policy.