Confidence in the farm sector has hit a new low, with the dismal results of a new nationwide survey prompting calls for the Albanese Government to rethink a string of “looming policy failures”. The survey by the National Farmers Federation found industry sentiment was worsening, with one in three respondents less positive about the future than they were a year ago. More than half of the 1600 farmers surveyed said Federal Labor policies, including the planned shutdown of the live sheep trade, were “harming” the industry. Only 31 per cent thought the Albanese Government was doing a good job for farmers. NFF President Fiona Simson said the government should be supporting the sector’s growth as seasonal and market conditions deteriorated. “We’re watching commodity markets fall and seasons dry out,” she said. “We can’t control the weather, it’s part and parcel of farming, but the policy environment is something the government can control.” Ms Simson said the inaugural survey of farmers’ priorities showed they were feeling frustrated across the board. “They’re being squeezed by a lack of government support on a wide range of fronts – whether that’s the unchecked market power of supply chain players, crumbling rural roads, unnecessary green tape, (or) workplace laws,” she said. “The Albanese Government… need to listen to people on the land and they need to act, because farmers are losing faith. “Looming policy failures like shutting down the live sheep export trade or shutting down farms in the Murray Darling Basin send a damning message about the government’s priorities.” Report co-author and NSW farmer Robbie Sefton — who is also managing director of rural advisory firm Seftons — said she hoped the results would inform better policymaking that “recognises the value and contribution of farmers”. “Australia’s farmers… produce incredible products under exceptional circumstances, and they do it with remarkable positivity and resilience,” she said. “We need to make sure they’re part of the conversation when decisions that impact their livelihoods are being made.” Despite declining confidence in the sector, more than 70 per cent of respondents said they continued to love their job while about 67 per cent described their local community as a great place to live.