11 Mar 2016

Dairy Payout Demoralising

From Country Life, 9:29 pm on 11 March 2016
Michelle McPherson Sharemilker

Michelle McPherson Sharemilker Photo: RNZ/Susan Murray

Andrew McPherson: Sharemilker

Andrew McPherson: Sharemilker Photo: RNZ/Susan Murray

Sharemilking couple Andrew and Michelle McPherson have a 540 cow herd on a farm near Te Awamutu in Waikato. With this week's massive milk solids payout drop to three dollars 90 a kilo of milksolids, their hopes to move up and purchase a farm this year have been dashed.

Michelle says "we're holding our dream of farm ownership loosely .... I believe in my heart we'll get onto land eventually, but at the moment we're holding that loosely". She says if land prices did fall it would provide an opportunity, but they'd need to buy a farm as an equity partnership. "As far as buying land on our own at the moment, that has gone". Michelle and Andrew use their entire milk cheque for on- farm working expenses, there's nothing for household drawings, interest or tax. The McPhersons say their sporty children aren't going on training camps anymore and the two of them have $20 each a week to spend on coffee or going out treats.