Farm Management

Drought declaration brings relief for Northland farmers

Federated Farmers says the Government’s decision to declare a medium scale adverse event in Northland is pragmatic and necessary.

The region is in the grip of its fifth drought in eight years, and farmers are increasingly seeking advice and help in what is rapidly becoming a distressing situation.

Federated Farmers’ Northland Provincial President John Blackwell says the situation definitely warranted action.

“The Northland Rural Support Trust is in no doubt; they have been through similar scenarios in recent years. From reviewing those past events, they’ve come to the conclusion that they could have intervened sooner,” he says.

Mr Blackwell said the declaration would facilitate modest financial support towards counselling and advisory services with flexibility around tax for those worst affected.

“It’s reassuring that Inland Revenue will be exercising income equalisation discretion to help provide flexibility and relief for drought-affected farmers.

“Farmers expect to meet their tax obligations and some understandably may need help in the short-term.

“There are other things to think about, check your neighbours and look out for one another. A problem shared is better than keeping it to yourself. Get in touch with the rural support trusts, your bank managers, the vet and stock companies.”

Farmers concerned about income streams and tax obligations should be considering a long term plan as the situation can escalate very quickly.

“If you haven’t already destocked you should be doing it now. Don’t hesitate, it will mean tougher decisions down the track if you leave it,” John says.

Dairy farmers may be able to buy in feed and palm kernel in the short-term but for sheep farmers it may not be economically viable.

The Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) line will be available to connect farmers looking for feed and other support, with farmers who have it to sell.

Federated Farmers will work in partnership with StockX, an online trading platform, who have agreed to provide sale and purchase transactions at a reduced commission of 2% and classified listings for feed and grazing at $48.50 plus gst for two listings (that’s two for the price of one).

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