SYDNEY, AAP – A survey of more than 600 farmers from Australia, the UK and the US has found Aussie growers the most optimistic about the industry’s future.
The State of the Farmer report by the Australian agricultural tech group AgriWebb, surveyed 636 farmers globally, questioning them on a range of agricultural issues.
Co-founder of AgriWebb John Fargher said Aussie producers were found to be the most optimistic of the farmers interviewed.
“It’s … based critically on the future of agricultural production, the future of livestock prices and the opportunity to value add with a high quality product,” he told AAP.
He said Australian farmers came out on top when it came to confidence about the future.
Mr Fargher said farm subsidies in the UK market had created a lot of uncertainty around the future of the industry, while in the US major meat processors dominating the commodity market had stoked concerns among producers.
The report concluded around 15 per cent of Australian farmers surveyed were “very concerned” about government and regulatory pressures compared to around 30 per cent of the British farmers questioned.
Farmers were also asked what they thought about maintaining and improving margins, with more than 60 per cent of American farmers “very concerned” compared to around 20 per cent of the Australian farmers surveyed.
The survey also queried farmers about carbon sequestration and carbon markets.
Two thirds of the 636 farmers surveyed globally considered carbon farming was not a priority.
In Australia, a third of the Aussie farmers questioned consider it a priority, with one in 10 listing it as a top priority.
While in the UK more than half of the farmers surveyed listed carbon farming as a priority or their top priority.
“In Australia, the balance of the feeling out there is there are many other priorities in our business as well moving forward so let’s not get caught up in the hype,” Mr Fargher said.
The survey also found that 67 per cent of Australian respondents regard agtech solutions and increased access to data a key to success.