While all farmers are experiencing increasing financial pressure from their banks, recent figures indicate that dairy farmers and sharemilkers are under the greatest pressure. Substantially more dairy farmers and sharemilkers than other farm types report feeling the financial strain. Sheep and beef farmers, in particular, are reported to be feeling relatively satisfied and not subject to undue bank pressure.
The Federated Farmers banking survey indicated that:
- 88.6% of dairy farmers have a mortgage worth an average of $4.7m
- 88.1% of sharemilkers have a mortgage
- 90.8% of dairy farmers have an overdraft worth an average of $247,000
- 97.6% of sharemilkers have an overdraft worth an average of $153,200
The dairy price downturn is also reported to be negatively affecting over a third of all agribusinesses. MYOB’s Business Monitor survey indicates that as farmers continue to struggle under financial pressure, considerable pressure has been placed on the entire rural economy. Only 25% of rural small businesses reported improved revenues in the past year, compared with the national average of 39%.