Cash for Farmers as Hay Prices Skyrocket

Filed in Recent News by August 6, 2018

ON Saturday the federal government announced some farmers affected by drought would be able to access up to $12,000 in cash payments.

Families on the Farm Household Allowance could receive a $6,000 payment in September and another in March, while single farmers without children could receive two payments of $3,600.

The government has also changed the asset test from $2.6million to $5million and urge farmers to see a Financial Counsellor to see if they qualify, estimating as many as 8,000 farmers may be missing out because they believe they don’t qualify.

The form to apply for the Farm Household Allowance has been scrapped and replaced with a statutory declaration.

Stuart Sheldrake, a stock and station agent at MacCallum Inglis in Scone said the cash payments were welcomed by farmers, but he worries about how far it will go.

“The thing I worry about is all of this is good, but obviously the price of feed is rocketing each week we are seeing hay now for $500 a tonne and pellets are up to $700 a tonne, so it’s just getting astronomical,” said Mr Sheldrake.

“Obviously it props them up to keep going for a little bit but for how long is another matter,” he said.

“And the help coming through is slow, farmers really needed this six months ago,” he said.

“At some point the drought is going to break, they all do, but when it does we actually need to get schemes in place for the next one, not just forget about it,” Stuart Sheldrake said.