A perspective on challenges and opportunities

Thursday, 8 February 2024


Whether tending to dairy or sheep and beef, the struggles are real, with factors like high interest rates, on-farm inflation, and climatic changes creating an uphill battle.


In the past year, the stark reality is that our farm sales have taken a hit, witnessing a significant decline compared to the previous year. Adaptation has become the key to weathering these challenges, with a glimmer of optimism as we head into 2024.


Forestry tests and regulatory changes

The forestry sector's influence on our farming reality cannot be overstated. The intricate challenges arise from changes in foreign investment regulations and forestry exemptions. The once-booming forestry market has faced a slowdown, bringing uncertainties in land valuations and transactions.


Understanding the forestry shift

Comprehending the nuances of the forestry shift is crucial. The distinction between permanent forestry and production forestry is more than a technicality – it determines the trajectory of land values and market dynamics. The recent reset in the market is both a challenge and an opportunity, prompting a reevaluation of our approach to farming.


Impact on land prices

The impact of forestry on land prices hits close to home. The stories of farmers being outbid by forestry companies echo a sentiment of frustration and concern. The recent regulatory changes and uncertainties in the carbon market have brought about a shift, potentially creating opportunities for those of us who were once priced out of the market.


Navigating the 2024 landscape

Government policy settings, adjustments to the carbon market, and the need for a balanced approach are critical factors shaping our farming future. The challenge is not only to adapt but also to participate actively in the dialogue that shapes our industry.


Positive indicators and opportunities

Despite the hurdles, there are positive indicators on the horizon. Opportunities in tier 2 and tier 3 properties are beckoning in the dairy sector. While initially daunting, the reset in land values opens doors for long-term leasing and a more balanced market. This presents an opportunity to explore sustainable practices and contributes to the resilience of our industry.

The ever-evolving agricultural landscape requires constant adaptation and resilience. Navigating the changing tides involves understanding economic factors and committing to environmental sustainability and community well-being. Approach the challenges with cautious optimism, recognising that the future of farming lies in our ability to embrace change and work towards a more sustainable and resilient tomorrow.


Conrad Wilkshire, GM Rural for Property Brokers Ltd




Have a listen to our latest podcast episode on Property Perspectives where we delve into the latest rural market insights


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