Farmers plan on infrastructure investment

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Commonwealth Bank’s most recent Agri Insights survey has shown strong intentions across the agricultural sector on infrastructural spending; especially within the beef, cotton and dairy industries.

Farmers plan on infrastructure investment
Intention to invest remains strong across the farming sector, particularly on infrastructure.

Conducted twice a year, the research aims to gauge the spending intentions of farmers across Australia.

According to Commonwealth Bank Regional and Agribusiness Banking general manager for Victoria and Tasmania Darryl Mohr, intention to invest remains strong across key sectors but specific investment plans vary by commodity type.

"Seasonal and market conditions are naturally going to have an impact on investment intentions, but what we are seeing is that producers in the beef sector were the most likely to be planning infrastructure investment," he says.

"We’re also seeing a big upswing in infrastructure investment intentions in cotton, where we have seen some improved conditions, while dairy operators indicated they were also looking at infrastructure."

39 per cent of beef producers have expressed their desire to spend more on infrastructure, compared to 37 per cent in cotton and 30 per cent in dairy.

The sugar sector, on the other hand has its sights set on technology, with 14 per cent of producers intending to invest in technology as opposed to 12 per cent on infrastructure.

"Technology investment intentions are fairly solid across the board," Mohr says.

"In particular, grain and dairy producers are especially keen to boost technology spending.

"Auto steer is a big area of technology investment growth for grain producers, while software is high on the wish list for dairy operators."

One in four grain growers say they will spend more on technology while 24 per cent of those surveyed in the dairy sector says they will increase tech spending.

Employment intentions are also positive across most sectors.

Cotton growers are most likely to hire more staff (13 per cent), followed by horticulture producers (nine per cent) and dairy farmers (seven per cent).

"The survey results indicate that dairy farmers are particularly interested in specialist advice and sourcing staff to help them in their operations, but they’re also most likely to be winding back their own involvement," Mohr says.

"Dairy farmers are far more likely than those in other commodity sectors to say they’ll increase the use of consultants, which reflects their strong interest in carefully managing operations to maximise productivity."

The data has been released ahead of the Farm World field days in Victoria, of which Commonwealth Bank is a key event partner.

Farm World will take place at Lardner Park in Warragul, Victoria from April 7 to 10.

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