The Minister for Agriculture says a drop in confidence in the rural sector is “bloody rubbish”.
The 'Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey' shows farmer confidence has eased from the previous quarter and is now at net negative levels for the first time since early 2016.
The third quarterly survey for the year says net farmer confidence has fallen to -3 percent, down from the two percent increase recorded in the June 2018 survey.
But Minister Damien O’Connor says confidence in the beef and lamb sector is “pretty good”.
“Prices are okay, things are quite positive [for the sector],” he told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange.
The survey found sheep and beef farmer optimism moved from negative to positive territory, jumping from -6 percent last quarter to plus seven percent in this survey.
Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country Banking Hayley Gourley told RadioLIVE the slide into net negative confidence was driven by rising dairy farmer pessimism.
"Dairy farmer confidence in the agricultural economy fell sharply with the net confidence reading among dairy farmers dropping from 14 percent last quarter to minus nine per cent in this survey," she said.
Watch the full interview with Bruce Wills above.