Agribusiness

Younger farmers investing for the future

Grain Central, March 28, 2017

YOUNGER Australian farmers are the most likely to invest in both their farming businesses and their own skills, according to Commonwealth Bank research released ahead of the Farm World field days in Warragul, Victoria.

Darryl Mohr

The research, gathered as part of the most recent Commonwealth Bank Agri Insights survey, shows that farmers under 45 years of age have stronger investment intentions across a range of measures.

Commonwealth Bank’s Regional and Agribusiness Banking general manager for Victoria and Tasmania, Darryl Mohr, said the results showed younger farmers were committed to getting the most out of their operations.

“Agribusiness is becoming a more complex and technologically driven sector. Farmers recognise that success means investment not only in the farm itself, but also in their own continued upskilling and in working with the right specialist partners,” Mr Mohr said.

According to the survey, younger farmers are almost twice as likely to be undertaking further education or skills training than those over 45 years of age, with 23 per cent of the younger group planning more education, compared with only 12pc of the older group.

At the same time, younger farmers are five times more likely than older farmers to be planning to buy more land (10pc of younger farmers versus 2pc of over-45s).

“This is all about working hard to create new opportunities. We’re seeing farmers, especially those in the mid-career bracket, investing strongly for success over the longer term. The overall picture is one of a highly engaged, optimistic group of young and middle-aged farmers, ready to take on new opportunities for growth in the sector,” Mr Mohr said.

Other areas where the investment intentions of younger farmers outstrip those of the older generation include fixed infrastructure (42pc vs 33pc) and technology (28pc vs 17pc).

The data was released as Commonwealth Bank prepares to host a business forum at Farm World. The Food, Fibre, Facts and the Future forum will see a panel of industry experts discuss production trends and explore how innovation helps Australia’s food and fibre sectors achieve a profitable and sustainable future.

Farm World will be held at Warragul between March 30, 2017, and April 2, 2017.

Source: Commonwealth Bank

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