Farmer confidence has slipped further into negative territory, but it's not all bad news says Rabobank's GM of Country Banking Hayley Gourley.

Gourley spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about the highs and lows of Rabobank's final rural confidence survey for 2018.

"It is pastoral farmers that have driven the confidence lower," says Gourley, with farmers citing concerns over Government policy, falling commodity prices, overseas markets/ economies and rising input costs.

In good news, Gourley says lamb has been productive for sheep farmers, "and we expect that it will continue to be positive, even if it's not at the extreme highs that we've seen recently."

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Overall, since the September survey this year, the nation's net farmer confidence has fallen from - 3 to minus - 15 per cent.

However, Rabobank's rural confidence survey has been running since 2003, and Gourley says the lowest result was June 2015 during the dairy downturn, where confidence "was hovering around negative 40 to 45 per cent."

"We're clearly a long way from that," says Gourley who points out that the horticulture sector is currently optimistic.

Listen below: