In a period of difficulties, access to the RFCS has provided Walter with the means to address the impacts on his business and improve his financial practices. Across several seasons Walter’s cereal property on the Eyre Peninsula experienced poor farming conditions which directly impacted his crop yield. Unfortunately, these conditions coincided with poor commodity prices placing the business into an unsustainable financial position. The RFCS assisted Walter to access financial support and develop a stronger financial business arrangement. With less focus on daily financial survival, Walter has been able to implement plans that focus more on the future of the business.
“Assistance from the RFCS to apply for the Farm Household Allowance has relieved pressure on daily household expenses. RFCS assistance with Business Analysis and Planning promoted the review of business borrowing and debt restructuring making everything easier to manage.”
RFCS assisted Walter to review his current financial situation and the structure of his business. After receiving information on lending and financial services, Walter was able to restructure his loans and source better bank financing.
Through the business analysis Walter was also able to review his enterprise mix, including the expenses associated with each crop and his current crop plan. Canola was not germinating when planted and large amounts of seed were going to waste. After identifying various crop scenario improvements, Walter replaced Canola with Lupins.
The Lupins have had a direct impact on the cash income of the business. Although the price of the grain is often lower, compared with other pulses, it has a positive impact on the yields of the other cereal crops in the rotation. Walter has noticed that the Lupin crops have increased the availability of soil nitrogen resulting in improved crop rotations and better disease control.
Walter harvested his first crop of Lupins in 2012 and is continuing to use it in his crop rotation.
Being a crop with a lower production risk he has found it easier to manage which has meant he can increase focus on other areas of the business. He is now making sure the business is stronger and more sustainable for the future.
“RFCS understood we needed an immediate plan that would maximise our cash flow. Support from an independent person, instead of a bank, relieved the stress we felt. I’m more confident now with our immediate plans and moving forward.”