March 14, 2013
Low debt best for drought stricken farms
With a drought now declared over the entire North Island, a Te Arawa farm director says low debt levels may help Māori landowners get through this season’s drought.
Te Taru White is on the board of a 4000 hectare farm on the shores of Lake Rotoiti, formed by the amalgamation of two incorporations.
He says the amalgamation gave the owners the economies of scale to convert their sheep and beef operations to an 1100 head dairy farm.
Even though milk levels are under pressure he remains positive.
”We’re a large dairy unit in comparison to many. We’re probably two or three times the average farm size, so carrying that much stock is alot of pressure. But we’ve endured as we’re farming on ancestral land and we’re here forever. Unlike our corporate neighbours and others, we’re here for the long haul and luckily we carry very low debt on these types of farms so we’ll get through,” says Te Taru White.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy this morning declared the entire North Island a drought zone, which means farmers, can get more flexibility around tax payments and if necessary get the equivalent of an unemployment benefit.
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