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Local News

Dry seasonal conditions and softer commodity prices drive fall in NSW farmer sentiment

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A dry seasonal condition farm as prices drive fall in NSW farmer sentiment
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Dry seasonal conditions and softer commodity prices drive fall in NSW farmer sentiment 

 

Rabobank

Results at a glance:

  • NSW farmer sentiment has declined in the latest survey after stabilising last quarter.
  • More of the state’s farmers are concerned about dry seasonal conditions and softer commodity prices, while input costs are still being reported as a worry.
  • Farm investment intentions have softened.

 An increased number of New South Wales farmers are concerned about the outlook for the year ahead, with dry seasonal conditions and lower commodity prices weighing on sentiment, the latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has found.

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The survey, released today, found farm sector sentiment in the state had recorded a considerable decline after stabilising in the previous quarter.

A total of 60 per cent of NSW farmers indicated they expected conditions in the agricultural economy to deteriorate in the 12 months ahead (compared with 36 per cent in the previous quarter). While 29 per cent anticipated the agricultural economy would remain stable, only eight per cent were forecasting an improvement (down from 14 per cent).

Of those NSW farmers expecting business conditions to worsen, falling commodity prices were the primary reason – mentioned by 64 per cent. And increasing number were also concerned about drought – 45 per cent (up from 30 per cent in quarter two).

And despite returning to more average levels over the past year after spiking in mid 2022, input prices were still factoring as a worry for the state’s farmers – cited by 29 per cent as a reason for their negative outlook.

Interest rates, however, were found to be slightly less of a concern – nominated by 19 per cent of those with a negative outlook on the economy (down from 24 per cent previously).

Commodity prices were also cause for optimism for some though – for 51 per cent of those New South Wales farmers with a positive outlook on the 12 months ahead, albeit down from 60 per cent with that view in the previous quarter.

There was also increasing optimism about overseas markets/ economies – nominated by 19 per cent of farmers with a positive outlook (up from eight per cent in the previous quarter). 

Seasonal conditions though were less cause for optimism this quarter – nominated by 16 per cent of farmers holding positive expectations, compared with nearly 30 per cent the previous quarter.

A dry seasonal condition farm as prices drive fall in NSW farmer sentiment

Rabobank regional manager for Riverina Sally Bull said “it’s chalk and cheese” with two very different seasonal situations at play in NSW – with central, western and northern areas being very dry – while in southern regions and through the Riverina, farmers have generally been enjoying good seasonal conditions.

“While the season is good across much of the south of the state, southern farmers are still conscious of the prospect of drier seasonal conditions forecast in the year ahead and this is weighing on their minds,” Ms Bull said.

“The growing worry about declining seasonal conditions has dovetailed into general concern farmers have held about softening commodity prices – this is particularly the case for livestock producers.”

The survey, completed last month, found the largest decline in confidence to be observed within the state’s mixed farming sector (grain and livestock) – with 75 per cent of NSW mixed farmers expecting economic conditions to worsen in the year ahead (up from 48 per cent last quarter) and only two per cent expecting an improvement (compared with 18 per cent previously).

Easing commodity prices were identified as their chief concern.

This quarter, 59 per cent of NSW beef producers surveyed believe the economic conditions would worsen in the coming 12 months (up from 37 per cent last quarter), while nine per cent are expecting business conditions to improve – down from 16 per cent previously. And 32 per cent are anticipating conditions to remain unchanged.

Of those NSW beef producers expecting economic conditions to decline, falling commodity prices are the primary concern (for 64 per cent) and dry seasonal conditions are a worry for 50 per cent.

“While cattle prices have eased this year, seedstock producers have generally enjoyed positive results this selling season,” Ms Bull said. “Though at bull sales held in recent weeks we have started to see lower price averages, in some cases up to 30 per cent less.”

Sheep producer confidence across NSW also declined this survey, with the majority of producers (at 66 per cent, up from 25 per cent previously) expecting farm business conditions to worsen.

Over half (56 per cent) of the state’s grain growers believe agricultural economic conditions will decline in the next 12 months (up from 48 per cent previously), with 12 per cent anticipating an improvement (up slightly from eight per cent in quarter two).

“The situation across the state is patchy – with the dry conditions meaning some grain growers in the north of the state chose not to plant a crop this season,” Ms Bull said,   “while in parts of central NSW, crops are good to average – but contingent on receiving rain in the next month or two. And there are some very good crops through the Riverina – though with some impacted by the inability to add urea when needed due to insufficient supply.”

The survey found NSW cotton grower confidence overall had picked up, with 23 per cent of growers expecting agribusiness conditions to improve in the year ahead (no cotton growers held this view in the previous survey), while 40 per cent expect no change and 33 per cent are expecting conditions to decline (29 per cent previously).

For the cotton sector, Ms Bull said, southern NSW has experienced one of its worst production seasons on record – with very poor harvests in the southern valleys. “Cotton growers in northern valleys though have generally fared better and are looking forward to the next season knowing they have full water allocations,” she said.

Investment intentions amongst NSW farmers have fallen this quarter, with 25 per cent planning to reduce the amount of investment in their farm business over the next 12 months (up from 10 per cent with that intention last quarter) and 18 per cent to increase investment (down from 22 per cent).

Ms Bull said farmers are becoming increasingly cautious on all spending – considering the outlook for commodity prices and the season – before committing to investment projects.

Of those farmers looking to increase their investment, the number planning to purchase property has increased from 16 per cent last quarter to 23 per cent this quarter, while 52 per cent intend to invest in new plant/machinery (compared with 34 per cent in quarter two).

The survey found farm debt is expected to rise, with 22 per cent of NSW farmers looking to increase their debt (up from 15 per cent) and 18 per cent expecting to decrease (down from 21 per cent).

NSW farmers overall expect their incomes to fall in the year ahead – 53 per cent expecting their income to decrease (up from 41 per cent last survey) and just 16 per cent expecting incomes to increase (down from 19 per cent).

A comprehensive monitor of outlook and sentiment in Australian rural industries, the Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey questions an average of 1000 primary producers across a wide range of commodities and geographical areas throughout Australia on a quarterly basis.

The most robust study of its type in Australia, the Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey has been conducted since 2000 by an independent research organisation. The next results are scheduled for release in December 2023.

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Casino NSW News

Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

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Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

 

We are excited to announce that the recently revitalised Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will commence accepting bookings starting from Monday, June 3rd.

With a generous funding injection of $12.8 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, alongside contributions from various sources including the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands, and Council, the total investment in this redevelopment has reached $14.4 million.

This newly enhanced facility boasts a range of features including a spacious undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas, covered stables, and a state-of-the-art racehorse stable complex capable of accommodating up to 80 horses. Additionally, new parking areas for cars, trucks, and floats have been added for the convenience of visitors.

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Of notable appeal is the newly constructed racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker, and a 50-metre equine pool. These amenities are expected to draw considerable interest from equestrian enthusiasts and event organizers alike. Furthermore, enhancements such as powered event camping areas have expanded the facility’s versatility, allowing for hosting a diverse range of events including country music festivals, car shows, trade exhibitions, and markets.

Despite the official opening ceremony held on April 20th to commemorate the acknowledgment of government funding, certain essential construction tasks remain pending due to unforeseen circumstances. These include the high-voltage power upgrade, completion of the equine training area, and fencing installations crucial for ensuring the safety of all facility users.

Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions in the Northern Rivers region have exacerbated delays, saturating many areas of the facility and rendering them unsuitable for immediate use. However, efforts are underway to expedite the finalisation of these outstanding projects in alignment with the originally tendered project costs.

In tandem with these developments, the Council is set to deliberate on its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its upcoming meeting. This policy will outline the proposed fees for utilising the facility and will undergo a public exhibition period of 28 days following the meeting, during which community feedback and submissions will be welcomed.

We extend our gratitude to all existing stakeholders and potential users for their patience throughout this project’s completion, which has been hampered by unforeseen challenges. We eagerly anticipate opening all elements of this facility to serve the broader community.

For those interested in booking the venue, please visit the Council’s venue hire website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Evans Head News

Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

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Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

 

Serenitas, a leading provider of lifestyle communities and resorts for individuals over 50, proudly announces the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort, Evans Head. The celebratory event saw enthusiastic homeowners joined by Mayor Robert Mustow and Serenitas CEO Rob Nichols, who officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nestled in the tranquil coastal enclave of Evans Head, the Clubhouse epitomises refined living and leisure. Located near the historic Evans Head Aerodrome and a short walk from pristine beaches, Thyme Evans Head offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and laid-back coastal charm.

Rob Nichols, CEO of Serenitas, expressed his excitement about the new facility: “We are thrilled to be opening the Thyme Evans Head Clubhouse, inviting residents and their guests to immerse themselves in the pinnacle of luxury living. With its striking architecture, ties to Evans Head’s aviation heritage, and a host of premium amenities, this opening heralds the next inspiring chapter for the resort’s homeowners and underscores Serenitas’ unwavering commitment to excellence.”

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The multi-million dollar Clubhouse features an array of exquisite facilities, including a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, health and beauty studio, luxurious cinema, sports bar complete with darts and pool table, croquet court, and more. A standout feature of the Clubhouse is the sophisticated Evans Lounge, providing homeowners a serene setting to enjoy views over the aerodrome by a cozy fireplace.

“The Clubhouse caters to every taste,” added Mr. Nichols. “From our active residents utilising the fitness facilities to our social groups making use of the Art & Craft Studio and other recreational spaces for gatherings and events.”

Demand for homes at Thyme Evans Head has been incredibly strong, with sales surpassing expectations since its inception. Located in the highly sought-after Northern Rivers district of NSW, Evans Head has emerged as a coveted community known for its relaxed coastal vibe and pristine waters.

“Our homes have garnered significant interest and are selling at an unprecedented pace,” remarked Rob Nichols. “With prices starting from $615,000, we are preparing to release our final homes for sale, reaffirming Evans Head’s status as a desirable destination for discerning homeowners.”

For more information about Thyme Evans Head, please visit here.

 

For more Evans Head news, click here.

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Local News

Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award
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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

 

In a competitive field of contenders, Ranger Nick emerged victorious, securing the prestigious “Australian Owned Achievement Award 2024” in the recently announced Australian Owned Business Awards on May 7, 2024.

Surprised by the announcement, Ranger Nick received a message from the judging panel praising his unwavering commitment to Australian ownership and excellence. The panel acknowledged the stiff competition and commended Ranger Nick’s business as a leader in its domain.

Reflecting on the unexpected news, Ranger Nick expressed his elation, stating, “I was on my way to the Capella Country Music Festival, after spending a few days in the scrub with no mobile reception, when I received the news. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled, flattered and honoured.”

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This accolade marks Ranger Nick’s third triumph in a year, following his recognition as a Finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and as a Winner in the Innovation and Sustainability Excellence category of The Australian Rural Business Awards.

Renowned as the charismatic Aussie Bush Cook, Ranger Nick embodies the authentic Australian spirit with his unwavering passion for Australian heritage and traditions. He has dedicated himself to sharing his camp oven cooking and bushcraft skills with fellow adventurewrs across the country and abroad.

With four published books, his own merchandise line, and notable appearances on television and radio, including Channel 7Mates’ “Step Outside with Paul Burt” and West Bremer Radio, Ranger Nick’s influence continues to grow.

Grateful for the support he has received, Ranger Nick humbly thanked his supporters, expressing his determination to continue his endeavors. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all for your unwavering support,” he said. “I better pull up my socks and keep on going.”

Ranger Nick eagerly anticipates receiving his official trophy at the Dayboro Annual Show in early July, marking another milestone in his illustrious career.

 

For more local news, click here.

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