Australian farmers are experts at adapting to changing conditions and are well placed in the economy. That is the emerging view of many industry and economic analysts and commentators.
Farmers themselves are also positive about prospects, as reported in The Land earlier this week, with 86% of surveyed farmers believing their enterprise will remain viable after COVID-19. This is backed by the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey where farmer confidence is at a five year high.
Westpac’s most recent Australia and New Zealand Weekly report highlights agriculture as one of the few Australian sectors that is “reasonably resilient” . Predicting the first signs of a national recovery for the December quarter, Westpac talks of a rapid rebound when compared to a traditional recession.
At the same time, reports are emerging of a recovery in demand for animal protein in China. This was noted in Tuesday’s farmWeekly by Elders WA livestock manager Simon Wilkinson. “What we are seeing is the demand out of China has grown in the past week and it’s going back on”, he said.
The MLA has also landed on a positive tone for animal protein, pointing out the obvious fact that “people still need to eat and the surge in retail demand for red meat in the likes of Australia and the US over the last fortnight reflects this appetite.”
Carbon farming has the potential to help producers approach the future with an added degree of preparedness. The story of a Climate Friendly partner, the Marshman family of Bourke, NSW featured in the recent edition of The Australian’s business magazine The Deal. Michael Marshman said that with the income from his native forest regeneration project, “We went from being broke and freaking out to actually make plans for the future”. Those plans have included purchasing two new properties, primarily for livestock.