22 Jun 2009

Farmers offered free seminars on debt management

9:59 am on 22 June 2009

Farmers are being offered free seminars on managing debt as the dairy sector grapples with falling incomes and rising costs.

The level of farm debt has grown by about 30% in the past two years to $45 billion.

To provide some practical guidance, Federated Farmers has teamed up with Westpac bank to run seminars around the country, starting this week.

Federated Farmers chief executive Conor English says the biggest problem for farmers right now is adjusting to their changed financial circumstances and managing their cash flows.

Mr English says incomes are down, expenditures are up and debt has increased from two or three years ago.

He says it is important for farmers to manage their cash flows, which have been severely restricted by reduced dairy payouts.

The first of the two-hour seminars are in Timaru and Kaiapoi on Monday.