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Milk down but beef and lamb farmers happy - 3rd Oct 2014

Milk down but beef and lamb farmers happy While the dairy industry is feeling the pain in the wake of the slashed payout, sheep and beef farmers are smiling.

Good forecasts for beef and lamb prices and the kind winter and early spring have Waikato drystock farmers well placed for the season ahead.

Cattle prices would be better than sheep this year because of the lack of supply, both at Frankton and abroad, Holden said.

"There is no supply of cattle and that will push the price up. Cattle I think will be better than sheep," Dixon added.

He said a major concern was creeping on-farm costs. While fertiliser prices had fallen in recent years, it would not be long before they pushed back up again.

They were also happy with the election result and Holden said he looked forward to the Government's planned reform of the Resource Management Act.

Overall, more than a third of farmers had a negative outlook on the rural economy in the year ahead, compared with 24 per cent previously and those with a positive view were shrinking, down five percentage points to 20 per cent. But a decline in dairy farmer confidence was balanced by beef and sheep farmer sentiment remaining reasonably strong.

Those sheep and beef farmers surveyed expecting their business performance to get better declined from 57 per cent last quarter to 48 per cent, however, only an unchanged 7 per cent expected their performance to worsen.

The investment appetite of sheep and beef farmers had increased, unlike dairy farmers whose investment intentions were at a five-year low.

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