SA floods: Rural Business Support aids storm affected producers

From: Northern Argus 1 October 2016

Storm affected producers have been urged to seek assistance from Rural Business Support, with heavy rainfall, flooding and damaging winds impacting on many farmers and rural businesses across South Australia.

While the initial response to any emergency is to firstly ensure the safety of people and livestock, Rural Business Support is prepared and ready to respond to an increasing number of requests for assistance.

Reports of damage to hay and cereal crops have already been received, with the expectation that some crops will be lost or yields severely downgraded.

Rural Business Support has a team of rural financial counsellors located across the state ready to work with primary producers who may face hardship as a result of the storms.

Rural Business Support CEO Brett Smith said his team of professionally trained staff were able to work with businesses in all aspects of business analysis and could assist with applying for grants which may be available.

“Many producers were optimistic of a good harvest this year following good rainfall and to have their hopes dashed just prior to harvest will be a disappointment for those affected. Those who hadn’t yet organised crop insurance will face some tough decisions on how to manage a period of tight cash flow,” he said.

“Talking with a Rural Financial Counsellor can help ease the stress of trying to work out how the farm business can recover from the storm event.”

Current support available includes emergency relief payments through the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion to eligible households.

Farm businesses may also be eligible for the Farm Household Allowance – a fortnightly payment (up to three years) to assist farming families to get back on their feet.

Community refuge centres have also been set up in affected regional locations.

“Managing the recovery from a business shock can be a difficult time. Working with a Rural Financial Counsellor can provide clarity and a plan to return to normal business operations,” Mr Smith said.

He urged producers to contact Rural Business Support for assistance.

Enquiries: Freecall 1800 836 211 or visit www.ruralbusinesssupport.org.au

www.northernargus.com.au