Finance and risk management
Volatility is an ongoing factor in agriculture and the dairy industry is committed to promoting good practice financial planning and risk management. Dairy farmers and the Government have mutual obligations. Farmers need to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable farming through appropriate business and farm management, and governments need to provide appropriate policy platforms and certainty through funding commitments to support dairy farmers’ efforts.
The Rural Financial Counselling Service provides many farmers with valuable, impartial financial counselling that can assist them in planning for their future. We note that the program has been extended until 30 June 2015; however ongoing funding is needed to secure the future of this crucial support program.
Improved risk management, such as farmers being better prepared for drought or other extreme weather events can be supported through taxation measures and improvements to the farm management deposit scheme that better recognise assets that contribute to drought preparedness. For example, changes to non-commercial loss rules, shorter effective life schedules for depreciating farm properties and equipment, and increasing thresholds for the Farm Management Deposits (FMD) scheme.
- Provide ongoing resources for the Rural Financial Counselling Service to offer one-on-one sessions for farmers experiencing extreme financial hardship.
- Make improvements to the farm management deposit scheme and farm taxation measures.