[5 June/NBR]

Even with improved dairy market conditions, more farmers were falling under undue pressure from their banks. Federated Farmers Vice-President, Andrew Hoggard, said confidence and satisfaction with banks remained reasonably high, and thought non-financial pressures were also impacting farmers. He cited government climate change policies and the emerging risk of Mycoplasma bovis as factors impacting the farming sentiment. The survey results were still down from 2016 where one in five sharemilkers felt under pressure from banks. Westpac Chief Executive, David McLean, said a number of dairy farms were still only marginally profitable, and for those farmers selling their farms would be the best option. Mr Hoggard noted they had to be careful interpreting the figures as they could just be a reflection of the profile of those who took part in the survey