CRYSTAL ball gazing is always problematic and agriculture, with its indeterminable elements, is even more so.
However, all that aside, agriculture looks to be in good shape for 2020/21.
Traditionally an industry that revolves around commodity prices and seasonal conditions is having to deal with another factor and that is the decline in available farmland for sale.
Ray White Rural WA (RWRWA) has seen an increase in early enquiry from all over the State, as a generally good start to the cropping season has combined with ever decreasing interest rates.
There is a healthy level of pessimism for other forms of investments such as residential, commercial and industrial real estate from the broader community, which is why at this stage there is strong interest in the recent history of stable growth of agricultural land.
Notwithstanding this quiet optimism, agriculture does have to deal with the vagaries of weather and export markets so if people are considering selling - and selling well is all about timing - then currently my advice is that things look promising.
RWRWA is expecting a very solid spring selling season with several outstanding properties scheduled to hit the market this year.
Grain growing is still the major driving factor but there are several local groups pushing hard into the red meat market.
The declining State sheep flock is one of those sectors earmarked for corporate investment as the shortage of supply is seen as a future opportunity for downstream businesses.
However, established demand for quality lamb is being affected by local farmers turning grazing country into cropping land, which can be attributed in some parts to the decline in on-farm water storage across the State.
RWRWA has experienced sales representatives across the State who are happy to give potential sellers an obligation-free assessment as to the value of their properties and options regarding how best to maximise the sale price of their rural farm or station.
Our level of expertise covers all sectors of the market from grain to grazing, to cattle and sheep stations and all forms of intensive agriculture such as viticulture and horticulture.
We can also assist our country clients with residential property management advice in the Perth metropolitan area if they need another opinion.
Like all crystal ball gazing, time will tell.