THE global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is set to have minimal impact on the region's agricultural sector, a new study has found.
Rural Bank's Australian agriculture mid-year outlook predicts the promising winter cropping season and competitive markets at the region's saleyards will hold the sector in good stead.
The report states recent rainfall in drought-affected areas is set to help boost the cattle, lamb and cropping trades.
However, the horticulture and dairy industries are expected to remain steady, while the wool sector is predicted to "face some significant challenges over the next six months".
Gunnedah agronomist Matt Roseby said morale among the region's crop farmers was high thanks to early season rainfall.
"The bulk of the crops that have been planted in our area have been wheat and barley," Mr Roseby said.
"There has been some canola and chickpeas planted, but the majority of it is wheat and barley.
"I think the reasoning behind that has been the added ground cover those cereal crops offer farmers coming out of drought.
"At the moment, everyone is feeling pretty good about how things are tracking, especially after having a tough few years."
Mr Roseby said while the global economy's struggles were "not ideal" for local farmers, most were excited about the prospect of a strong harvest.
"The barley tariffs with China and all of the other stuff going on economically is a bit of a concern, but most people have been thinking about what's best agronomically and that has been barley and wheat," he said.
"Luckily, everyone has had their share of rain and no one has really missed out, which is really important."
The Tamworth region has recorded 500mm of rain so far this year.
The total is nearly more than double Tamworth's 2019 rainfall of 263mm and is nearly five times greater than at the same time last year.
"Typically July is a bit drier, but it will work in favour of farmers as they will use the opportunity to do a bit of in-crop spraying," Mr Roseby said.
"If we can pick up another 30 to 40mm of rain at the end of August as crops start to flower, it would be perfect.
"There would be plenty of crops by then that will really be starting to move along."