Though most of the Gympie region has received some good rain in the past few weeks, Queensland's ongoing drought is causing a negative outlook in the rural sector
Though most of the Gympie region has received some good rain in the past few weeks, Queensland's ongoing drought is causing a negative outlook in the rural sector Fraser Coast Chronicle

Drought keeps rural sector down

DROUGHT conditions, which continue to affect 80% of Queensland, are weighing down farmer sentiment, with confidence resuming a downward trend in the latest quarterly Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey.

However, while overall rural confidence was down in the state, there continues to be more primary producers with a positive outlook than those with a negative view of the 12 months ahead, the survey has shown.

This is largely underpinned by strong sentiment in the beef industry and among grain growers.

The latest survey found the proportion of Queensland primary producers expecting conditions in the agricultural economy to improve in the next 12 months fell to 31% from 49% previously.

Those expecting conditions over the coming year to worsen rose slightly to 22% while 38% expected similar conditions to the previous year.

Rabobank state manager Brad James said while parts of drought-stricken Queensland had recorded good falls of rain from storms in past weeks, it had been very patchy and wide

spread rain was needed to "turn things around".

"It is promising that there has already been some storm activity, but we need a good wet season," he said.

Farmers are hopeful the El Nino will break down early next year, as is being indicated in the Bureau of Meteorology's forecasts, and this would augur well for monsoonal activity.