Don’t forget to pay your employers part of kiwi saver. That’s the advice of Kerry Adams from DAA chartered accountants. He says employers are inclined to pay IRD the workers contributions, but overlook the fact that they have to pay 3 percent on top of the contribution they deduct from the employees’ wages. He says more and more farmers are now getting their accountants to do all their wages and IRD requirements as the rules get more and more involved and the work loads get greater time wise.
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Irrigation - thanks to RX Plastics
An early spring has arrived and with it concerns for the coming summer season.Tony Davoren says while the North Island is well set up for the coming few months,Canterbury is facing severe water shortages. He says deep wells are very low and a lack of rain means surface moisture is non-existent.  He is concerned that as the temperatures do warm up, there won’t be enough moisture for the pastures and crops to start growing. Tony says the forecast is for another dry summer so there is real concern about what will happen.
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A well cared-for, productive orchard can be a thing of great beauty as well as a source of food and possible income. RX Plastics have a great new blog about setting up an orchard on your lifestyle block.  - Read more on the RX Plastics Blog

North Canterbury farmers are desperate for feed and rain. The area is still reeling from last season’s drought and with virtually no moisture all winter and more hot dry weather promised they have no likely hood of getting any feed for stock. With prices dropping off dramatically for stock, even the option will allude them. While organisations such as Canterbury Drought Assist can help all efforts to hold the status quo, it falls well short of fixing the problem.
Watch full interview with Grant Silvester

Cutting feed costs and every expense possible is the main and only solution for dairy farmers facing another year of losing money. One farmer who fed supplements 12 months of the year and enjoyed very successful milk solid levels has wiped all the supplements and is taking a huge drop in production to try to keep his costs below the payments level. He says the all grass diet will reduce his costs to the point that they should be held below $4.00 and he has to wear the drop in turnover.

Farmers are throttling back on spending. Tractor sales are back 17 percent on last year and other sectors are reporting similar drops in sales. It seems the essentials are still being bought, but in more and more cases new machinery purchases are being delayed until more cash flow can be attained.

The uncertainty of many aspects of farming at the moment is causing serious health problems for a lot of farmers. John O’Malley from Alpha Omega Clinic says even the possible increase in markets if TPP does happen it will likely cause stress as producers worry about flow on effects with respect to costs. He says it is natural for humans to worry about a thing that may or may not happen which is why we harbour our fears. He says to share with one’s partner your fears is the first thing to do and it isn’t adding to their burden, it’s very likely to help them and lighten your load. 
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Watch Part 2 of the interview


Tony Benny/Fairfax NZ