Rural insurer FMG has three tips for farmers and contract milkers to support a successful Moving Day this year.
FMG’s Manager Advice Services Stephen Cantwell, says while many are focused on moving animals, implements, households and people, it’s important to remember three other key points.
- Remain vigilant – Moving Day is seen as an opportunity by thieves
- Support new employees with training to keep milk safe when it’s milking time again
- If you’re changing your business structure as you move to a new farm, make sure you’re aware of your responsibilities.
“In the lead up to, and including Moving Day, FMG sees an increase in theft claims for many regions. Higher value, easily re-sellable items are magnets for thieves and in our experience lower value quad bikes, chainsaws, tools, fuel, and firearms are commonly stolen around this time,” says Stephen.
Now’s the time to take some easy steps to make sure that your gear is there when you get to a new property.
“Firstly, look out for each other and if you see something suspicious then report it to the police. As you’re packing up, take the time to record the details and serial numbers of high value assets on SNAP, a free online asset register created by the NZ Police. You may also want to engrave your gear so that if it is stolen, the police can easily identify it.
“Remain vigilant and don’t leave keys in vehicles or bikes, and if you can park them in a shed at night. Also, use high-spec padlocks on sheds”.
The second tip is how to avoid milk contamination. This Moving Day, you may have new sharemilkers or employees coming on board, which is why now’s a good time to go over with them how your milking shed works to avoid future milk contamination.
“Last year FMG received over 1,000 milk claims amounting to $4.3 million. Around one third of these claims were due to antibiotic contamination — including chiller failure and forgetting to turn on the vat,” says Stephen.
To help bring new sharemilkers or employees up to speed, make sure your milk shed’s systems and processes are documented and located in the shed. That way, if you or their manager isn’t around, they can refer to these.
“When explaining how your milk shed operates be aware of different learning styles—some people may prefer visual charts to written instructions, and some may learn best by you running through in person the system. It pays to take the time to have a few versions prepared,” says Stephen.
Lastly, Stephen says if you're making a step up into a contract or sharemilking role and becoming a limited liability company, or even if you've been one for a while make sure you’re aware of your responsibilities as a director and/or officer.
“The New Zealand Companies Office has very good resources available as an introduction. Given the seriousness of this area, we also recommended you get legal advice — unfortunately, ignorance offers little defence if something goes wrong.
“The team at FMG wish all farmers a safe and successful Moving Day this year,” says Stephen.
Claire Broun, External Communications Specialist
Mobile: 027 302 5057