Whether you like it or not, you will probably need to fund your farming operations with borrowing from one of New Zealand’s main trading banks.
The main terms that borrowers look at when signing loan facility documentation relate to the cost of the borrowing: interest rate, the amount of the repayment sums and the term of the lending. The security required is usually a mortgage over the farm land and, more often than not, a general security agreement which is effectively a mortgage over all of the farming entity’s assets that are not land such as stock, crops, machinery, receivables and so on.
Continue reading “Loan Documents: Read the fine print, there could be some surprises”
A new (uncertain) dawn for farmers
One of the hot issues in the recent election campaign was raising the water standards in our rivers and lakes. Regional authorities are the bodies that are charged with implementing the government’s water standards policy.
All regional authorities have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, plan changes that are designed to enable them to achieve the minimum water standards set by government.
Reduce leaching into waterway
One of the aims of these plan changes is to reduce the amount of nitrogen and/or phosphorous leaching from farms into waterways.
Continue reading “Farm Management Plans”
Health and safety legislation sentencings expected
There are a number of developments in health and safety expected later this year. These include the first sentencings under the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 that are due to be released. As well, WorkSafe is expected to launch its Health and Safety Improvement Performance Toolkit. We will continue to monitor this and update you in the next edition of Rural eSpeaking due in summer.
Judgements of rural interest
Farmers unsuccessful in their claim against rural contractor
In May this year the High Court released its judgement in the case of A P and A W Hughes Limited v Lyall. In 2014 Allan Lyall was contracted by A P and A W Hughes Limited to harvest a pea and barley crop for silage. When the silage was opened for feeding, which was three months after harvest, it was found to be in poor condition. The farmers attempted to sue the contractor for $300,000 worth of damage to the silage crop seeking compensation for the loss of winter feed.
The High Court found that the contractor used the skills expected of a reasonably competent silage contractor to implement the fall-back option of cut rake and chop that was agreed to by the farmers at the time of harvest. Despite this, soil was still incorporated in the silage by this process resulting in a loss of silage quality. The judge found the silage was poor quality because the crop was over-matured when it was harvested and this was not the contractor’s fault; it was simply the consequence of adopting an option agreed to by the parties to address the circumstances.
Continue reading “Over the Fence”
Further implementation of bobby calf regulations
Last year new regulations for young calves were introduced and took effect from 1 August 2016; we covered this in Rural eSpeaking, Winter/Spring 2016.
On 1 February, a new regulation came into force; bobby calves are to be fed at least once in the 24 hours before slaughter (a reduction from 30 hours).
Further regulations are to take effect this year including:
- Proposed 1 August 2017: Suitable shelter will have to be provided for young calves before and during transportation, and at points of sale or slaughter, and
- Proposed 1 August 2017: Loading and unloading facilities will have to be provided and used when young calves are transported for sale and slaughter. The facilities must be designed so that a calf is able to walk on or off the transport.
Continue reading “Over The Fence”
Give it some thought when buying or selling
Agreements for the sale and purchase of rural land generally contain a ‘good husbandry’ clause. This clause is often inserted into the agreement as a ‘boiler plate’ or standard clause by real estate agents when preparing contracts. We discuss why it’s better to tailor-make this clause to suit each transaction.
The standard clause is often worded along these lines:
From the date of this Agreement until settlement, the Vendor shall continue to farm the property in a good and husband-like manner and in accordance with approved good farming practice in the district and shall neither overstock nor under-stock the property, nor do anything to impoverish the soil nor remove or damage any improvement or fixtures on the property.
However, both a seller and a buyer should give careful thought to the wording of this clause and its implications; it should be tailored to suit the particulars of any given transaction. This is particularly so for transactions where settlement is some time out from when the agreement was signed. It also needs to relate to properties where specific types of farming are being carried out.
Continue reading “Good Husbandry”
What does this mean for farmers?
The government recently announced its Clean Water Package. The release has caused considerable controversy, largely around the proposed target of 90% of rivers and lakes being ‘swimmable’ by 2040 and, in particular, the E.coli guidelines for swimmable rivers being 540 E.coli per 100mls.
The Green Party and Labour Party were vociferous in their criticism of the government’s announcement largely because the amount of E.coli that can be present in swimmable water has doubled.
As well, Forest and Bird advised the Minister for the Environment, Dr Nick Smith and the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy that it was withdrawing from the Land and Water Forum. Forest and Bird is a very influential pressure group in this arena; it took legal action in relation to the proposed Ruataniwha Dam and that matter is still being litigated.
Continue reading “Clean Water Package 2017”
It’s not unknown for us to receive a shocked look from farmer clients when we advise them that they are subject to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 regarding the accommodation they are providing to their staff.
These types of accommodation provisions are classed as ‘service tenancies’. They are largely subject to the same rules as any other residential tenancy with a few minor exceptions such as rent in advance and termination notices.
As an employer or farm owner, you must comply with the same standards as any other landlord and you can be subject to a Tenancy Tribunal hearing if you fail to comply.
Continue reading “Providing accommodation to your farm staff?”
Most farmers will agree that working dogs play a crucial part in the day-to-day running of a successful farm. So it’s important that you’re fully aware of your legal obligations and responsibilities associated with owning working dogs. If you don’t, there’s a risk of substantial fines and possibly a conviction.
Continue reading “Obligations of working dog owners”
Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on 26 November 2015. The submission process is well underway with the Select Committee receiving submissions until Monday, 14 March 2016.
The Bill’s main purpose is ‘to create a Resource Management system that achieves the sustainable management of natural and physical resources in an efficient and equitable way.’ In the last election the current government was very clear in its desire to make changes to the Resource Management Act, and related legislation, to try to speed up and simplify Resource Management Act processes.
Continue reading “Time to Fence Those Waterways!”
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 comes into force on Monday, 4 April this year. Since the Pike River tragedy thrust workplace health and safety firmly into the limelight we have published several articles outlining the likely changes to health and safety law.
We thought it would be a useful exercise to summarise the main changes that have been made and how they will affect the rural community.
Continue reading “Health and Safety at Work: A new era begins”