Murray Goulburn sharefarmers can leave without repaying loan

SHAREFARMERS can leave Murray Goulburn without repaying the support package that held up prices this season.

The Weekly Times understands at least four sharefarmers have either been asked to contribute to paying MG’s milk supply support package, or the liability for the loan is being debated between sharefarmers and farm owners.

MG cut its price to $4.75-$5 a kilogram of milk solids in April but supported the price at $5.49kg/MS with a loan to farmers. The loan does not follow farmers who leave MG. Those who stay must pay it back over the next three financial years. There is an option to repay the whole amount this month.

One sharefarmer said they were not paid directly by MG but by the farm owner, who wanted them to pay about $40,000 of the support loan. They are leaving the farm.
An MG spokesman said sharefarmers-lessees were free to leave an MG farm without having to pay back the MSSP.

Future loan payments for owner-sharefarmer suppliers would be in line with the percentage of milk proceeds they were receiving.

If a sharefarmer or lessee moved to another MG farm, they would be liable to pay back the loan at the rate applied to all suppliers in the MG southern milk pool, he said.

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