[15 February/The Country]

Due to the drought and uncertainty around new government policies, the latest measure of New Zealand farmer confidence has fallen significantly according to Federated Farmers. Of those surveyed, 34 percent were pessimistic about general economic conditions over the next 12 months according to the Federated Farmers’ Farm Confidence January survey. Federated Farmers Vice President, Andrew Hoggard, said that most recent surveys have found a drop in confidence due to the uncertainty over October’s general election. Since the last survey in July 2017, pessimism has increased and so has farm debt. Federated Farmers added that biosecurity concerns are more evident, and the highest they have seen in these surveys. Finding suitable staff was also found to be increasingly difficult based on the results.