Independent view: Optimism's out there but credit is still a concern
The general 'feel good' factor in farming was evident at the IFA dairy conference in Citywest, Dublin last week and at the FTMTA's Farm Machinery Show in Punchestown.
The two events were well attended and the talk in both places was all about the positives, expansion and increased investment.
However, no industry exists in splendid isolation and the impact of the banking crisis and the consequent lack of credit influenced discussions in the two centres.
While companies such as AGCO and JCB have expanded their finance operations over the past 12 months, the difficulty in securing credit for new and second-hand machines was one of the main talking points at Punchestown.
Industry sources agreed that last week's event had been one of the best for some time, with a lot of business done during the first two days.
Strong grain prices last year and the promise of more to come this harvest certainly helped to give farmer buyers more confidence.
Similarly, contractor sentiment was buoyed by the lift in cereal grower returns, and by the improved fortunes of dairy farmers.