Flooding, slips and high winds from two successive Cyclones have caused significant damage on a large number of farms in upper North Island provinces.
We have moved from a medium scale adverse event to a National State of Emergency. An additional $4 million has been allocated to the rural recovery following on from the initial $700,000 of support funding, with the government indicating there is likely to be more.
For those who have suffered damage and whose production, feed situation or other operational aspects have been compromised, proactive action is the best course.
It may pay to organise a meeting with your farm advisor, if you have one. Invite your bank manager, your accountant and/or your insurer if appropriate. It’s useful if everyone is clear on the situation and a plan is made together.
Federated Farmers has been in contact with the New Zealand Banking Association, IRD and other agencies to ask them to explore postponement of hard deadlines and look for other ways to help lessen immediate financial impacts. Rabobank has already announced ways it will help its farming and rural clients and Feds encourages other banks to step up also.
Good communication between parties is particularly relevant for sharemilkers, contract milkers and farm owners, so that everyone is on the same page.
Farm Owners/Sharefarmers national chairperson John Numan is urging those in his sector to be responsive and active in communication between parties and establish an action plan with corrective procedures to minimise the ongoing financial and or physical impact it has on the daily operation.
The capital cost responsibility usually would be on the property owner, however the repairs to fencing, washed out culverts, etc., would require a reasonable amount of time and labour to repair, John says.
The operating sharemilkers could contribute their time in managing and repairing, however if the work is substantial then a joint approach would be advisable.
Keep in mind good communication and actions for corrective fixing will reward all parties, not only in the satisfaction of repair but also minimising financial loss through less production.
“Rewards are often acknowledged through one’s reputation, which potentially leads to promotion within the industry and positions with more seniority, likewise for fair owners working with sharefarmers when seeking progressive sharefarmers,” John says.
Seek help from Feds, consultants, Rural Support Trust and neighbours if your circumstances are extreme and you’re unsure of quick solutions.