Leo Neill-Ballantine (left) says the influx of potential foreign investment into agriculture should be a confidence booster.
Leo Neill-Ballantine (left) says the influx of potential foreign investment into agriculture should be a confidence booster. Mike Richards

Calliope grazier still upbeat

LEO Neill-Ballantine has plenty of confidence in the rural sector, but it seems he may be in a minority.

The Calliope grazier was disappointed yesterday to learn the results of the Rabobank Rural Confidence survey that showed Queensland farmers were less optimistic about the future agricultural economy.

Recent Central Queensland rain was not enough to break a sustained drought. The survey said 39% expected conditions to worsen in the next year, while only 22% expected an improvement.

"If you think things are that bad, you probably need a change of job," Leo said.

"It's always been my motto that as producers we have to change our mindset and stay positive, be more proactive in the whole supply chain.

"No level of government, state farming organisation or processor is going to change anything for us; the only people going to change anything is ourselves."

He also said the influx of potential foreign investment into agriculture should be a confidence booster.

"I can't help having some sort of confidence when you've got potential investors coming in. They must see something," he said.

"From a personal point of view, I've got plenty of confidence that we're moving into a good time when you start looking at global demand."

But he also acknowledged there appeared to be a lack of interest from the next generation, which could affect confidence.

 

Queensland farmers

39% are expecting conditions to worsen, up from 26%

22% expect improvement, down from 34%

27% held a stable outlook, down from 40%

Significant declines were recorded in the Central Highlands and the Darling Downs



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