Another drop in Fonterra’s forecast Farmgate Milk Price will be a bitter pill to swallow for farmers who are already under significant pressure, says Federated Farmers Dairy Chair Richard McIntyre.
“Two weeks ago, farmers were looking at a midpoint of $8/kg MS, but things have rapidly deteriorated and we’re now looking at $6.75. That’s a significant drop,” McIntyre said.
“DairyNZ have released an updated national average breakeven figure for the season of $7.51 excluding principal repayments on debt. That means that on average farmers will be losing at least 76 cents on every Kg/MS they produce this season.
“The psychological impact of that for dairy farmers, who are in the thick of calving and working long hours in the elements, can’t be underestimated.
“They’re going to work every day, slogging their guts out to provide for their families, and coming home poorer than when they walked out the door at 4am that morning.
“That’s the reality for thousands of farming families around the country who are under serious financial stress and will be having some really challenging conversations around their dining room tables.
“There’s no denying that it’s going to be a challenging season, so it’s more important than ever that banks, dairy companies, and the Government are working with farmers to help them through it.
“Now isn’t the time to be adding any new costs or complexities for farmers who are just trying to keep their heads above water,” McIntyre concluded.