Episode 15 – Managing cash flow pressure vs sustainability pressures with your bank

In Podcasts3 MinutesApril 26, 2024

Figured’s modelling initially saw the start of this season with 38% of dairy farmers making a loss. Forecasts have improved by the end of the season so are the banks going to be more supportive of longer term investment into sustainability goals?

This episode shares insights & forecasts, ways to deal with the bank for the long-term and how to manage the mental load of debt and cash flow stress. 

Guests include:

  1. Amy Milbourn, Head of Data and Lending Support, Figured
  2. Scott Wishart, Managing Director, NZAB
  3. Sam Owen, Managing Partner at S and J Owen partnership and Rural Support Trust Facilitator and co-host of Bullshit & Bravery podcast


  1. Sheryl Haitana, Editor, Dairy Exporter
  2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, managing director of CountryWide Media

As the season wraps up, Figured’s Head of Data, Amy Milborn, shares insights on the debt stress of dairy farmers which shows whilst now only 11% are making a loss, 40% of dairy businesses have cash flow cover problems for interest costs.


“Farmers have had 16% onfarm inflation, there’s cutbacks on repairs & maintenance, production system optimisation and a high interest environment,” says Amy. 


NZAB’s Scott Wishart explains how navigating with the banks has changed and the outcome of getting it right can be as much as 4% in basis points difference all based on having the right financial hygiene & strategy.


“If you have a strategy and a plan for the long-term delivered to the bank in a professional manner then the bank doesn’t determine your business strategy for you,” explains Scott.


There’s so much more to pressure than just cashflow or staff says both Waikato farmer and Rural Support Trust co-ordinator, Sam Owen.


“Farmers just want a flag in the ground for clarity and direction for the next step without it constantly moving,” stresses Sam.


Sam’s many hats from farmer, mental health advocate and farm consultant makes his chat with Sheryl really balanced in how to help farmers build confidence in investing in sustainable initiatives. 



The South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) is a two day conference for farmers, led by farmers.

This year celebrates 25 years of the event at Lincoln University and has a packed programme of workshops and keynote speakers as well as networking with other progressive dairy farmers.

SIDE event is between 24-26th June 2024 and registrations are open now!

View the programme and register: https://www.side.org.nz/