Sharemilkers are being urged to revise their budgets and agreements with farm owners, in light of falling dairy prices.
Federated Farmers said sharemilkers urgently needed to go through partial budgets and discuss what costs could be cut or shared to help with both parties' bottom lines.
Sharemilkers' Section chair Neil Filer said newer farmers would not have the experience to get through the tight times and could be at risk if their contracts were based on higher cost structures.
"If they've negotiated the contract on $6 or more and it's sort of going to be south of $4, you know it could be $3 plus gap on the numbers they did and the real numbers.
"It's not panic stations for existing guys or for smaller herds because they've got protection under the 21 percent rule, the guys that I'm concerned about are the people that have used unrealistic nunbers.
"I'm just worried about staff retention, about animal welfare - there's a lot of things to worry about.
"When the money dries up, cows still have to be milked, and feed and effluent still has to be put on paddocks, so it's in everyone's interest to get the job right now, before the milk starts flowing and the bills start flowing in."