A huge drop in farmers’ confidence for the next three years has been described as ‘unnerving’ by NFU president Meurig Raymond.
The latest survey by the union revealed farmers’ mid-term confidence has plunged by 18 points over the past two years. Brexit and an increasingly uncertain political environment have been blamed for the jitters.
The research also showed investment intentions – which are an early indicator of profitability – have taken a knock. Farmers were nearly twice as likely (20.1 per cent) to be decreasing investment as a result of Brexit than increasing it (10.7 per cent).
Mr Raymond said: “Farmer confidence is absolutely critical to the future of a profitable and productive food and farming sector. In such a period of uncertainty politically, we need politicians to fully understand the impact this lack of clarity is having economically.
“The outlook from farmers is positive for the next 12 months due to the weak sterling, but we all know farming businesses are long-term and cannot rely on currency fluctuations.
“With just 10 per cent willing to increase investment in their business, it does not paint a pretty picture for the progressive industry we are striving to be.
“The Government elected later this week will need to take firm action to maximize on the future potential of British food and farming.”