Episode 23 – Surviving tough times on farm

In PodcastsMay 31, 20242 Minutes

There’s no denying times are tough right now for most farm businesses, and profitability is severely challenged. The key to surviving is being as solutions-focussed as possible. 

Cutting costs is the obvious solution, but it’s important to continue investing in your farm business, even during tough financial times. We hear from those in the rural business industry about what farmers can practically do now to keep afloat, and how to stay hopeful for the future when pressures ease again.

Guests include:

1. Ed Harrison, Agribusiness Consultant, Baker Ag
2. Geordie McCallum, Director/Rural Business Consultant, Wairarapa Property Consultants


1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

BakerAg Agribusiness Consultant Ed Harrison says despite prices being poor, farmers still need to focus on capitalising on what they can get. He says part of this is planning ahead, and being adaptable to the situation at hand. He says cutting costs onfarm can only go so far; it’s important to balance being as lean as possible without undermining the farming asset. Ed also discusses the value of off-farm income when times are tight.

Rural Business Consultant Geordie McCallum says everything is stacked against farmers at the moment but it’s important to remember that bad years and good years are cyclical, and pressures will ease again in the future. He says having resilience and hope is key to survival – believe there is something better coming in the future.

Rebecca and Geordie also discuss the proposed inquiry into bank lending from Federated Farmers. With Geordie’s background in rural banking he provides useful advice for getting the most from your banker and cultivating a good relationship.

Check out the Dairy Exporter episode on managing fertiliser costs.