Young farmers affected by milk solid payout drop

Author
Laura Heathcote,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 May 2015, 5:52AM
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Young farmers affected by milk solid payout drop

Author
Laura Heathcote,
Publish Date
Fri, 29 May 2015, 5:52AM

There's concern for the welfare of young farmers, on the back of Fonterra's revised forecast payout.

The company's forecast farm gate milk price for the 2015/16 season is $5.25 per kilo of milk solids.

Dairy NZ chief Tim Mackle says while many farmers have coped with low milk prices in the past, support will be needed for those who have just bought farms, or who are first-year sharemilkers.

He says while it's going to be tough for a lot of farmers, it's also an opportunity to strengthen the resilience of the industry.

Mackle says the challenge could make New Zealand's dairy sector more competitive, if the hard times improve efficiency.

The reduction in farm gate milk price forecasts translates to an average farmer's income dropping by $150,000 next season.

He adds lower-order sharemilkers are also under immense pressure, with little wriggle room.

Mackle says the industry's working to create a safety net around farmers - including support trusts, banks and the Dairy Women's Network - to help look after their financial and mental wellbeing.