Tassie farmers creating jobs

Tassie farmers creating jobs

The proportion of Tasmanian farmers intending to hire more staff is double the national average.

Research, part of Commonwealth Bank’s bi-annual Agri Insights survey, finds six per cent of Tasmanian farmers intend to hire more staff in 2017, compared to a national average of just three per cent.

The latest Agri Insights Index for Tasmania, measuring overall investment intentions across the state, is 2.6 points ahead of the national index at 12.8.

Darryl Mohr, General Manager, Regional and Agribusiness Banking Tasmania, Commonwealth Bank, says the research results reflect solid outlooks across many key sectors.

“The strong index is a result of positive intentions across most areas of farm operation, particularly around the physical aspects of infrastructure and equipment, as farmers continue to invest in their ongoing productivity and efficiency. The index reflects a positive view of the future for Tasmanian farmers,” Mr Mohr said.

Tasmanian farmers are also showing a strong appetite for technology investment, with 24 per cent of them saying they will increase their investment in technology.

About two thirds (66 per cent) say digital tech adds significant value to their operations and 57 per cent share their farm production data with their peers.

“Digital technology is beginning to really change the agri landscape and it’s encouraging to see that farmers in the state are using technology to collect data that not only supports them in their own business but helps support growth in the Tasmanian agriculture more broadly,” Mr Mohr said.

Across the country, 19 per cent of horticulturists say they will increase production in 2017, as do 14 per cent of both lamb and beef producers and four per cent of wool producers. Just one per cent of dairy farmers say they will scale up in the 12 months ahead.

“Intentions around lamb, wool and beef enterprises are all very sound, and horticulture investment intentions in particular have really picked up, and this is offsetting some of the softening we’ve seen in dairy intentions.

“In horticulture in particular, there’s a real shift as global demand continues to grow and export markets open up. We’re also seeing a lot of interest in proteins, especially in prime lamb thanks to strong global demand, high prices and consistent profit margins, and the synergies gained from irrigated cropping and prime lamb enterprises,” Mr Mohr said.

Article first published in Leading Agriculture Issue 20 – issue20.leadingagriculture.com.au