Call sparks vis­its to study ef­flu­ent stor­age

OPIN­ION

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

The day had come – yes I re­ceived a let­ter from my dairy company ex­plain­ing that they would not pick up my milk un­less I had ad­e­quate ef­flu­ent stor­age fa­cil­i­ties in place by May 31, 2015.

Ob­vi­ously 24 hours stor­age doesn’t make the grade any­more. Over the years I had heard from many farm­ers who had re­ceived the same let­ter and what they had to do to be­come com­pli­ant.

As a re­sult I de­cided to turn this re­quire­ment into a project which could not only help me but also the clients of my firm.

Since June 1 I’ve vis­ited farms in both the North and South is­lands. I’ve seen:

Ef­flu­ent ponds rang­ing from 700,000 litres to more than 2 mil­lion

All types of stor­age tanks

Con­crete bunkers both above the ground and be­low

Even re­search on ef­flu­ent blad­ders Pond stir­rers Nu­mer­ous pump­ing sys­tems and ir­ri­ga­tors in­clud­ing trav­el­ling to K-Lines

Solids sep­a­ra­tors and weep­ing walls.

ef­flu­ent

Along with ef­flu­ent, in many in­stances some sort of pad is built. This may in­clude: Stand off pad Feed pad with troughs Cov­ered feed pad Herd homes Over three months I’ve be­come knowl­edge­able about the sys­tems.

Be­ing an ac­coun­tant though, I won­dered how I could save some tax, with hav­ing to spend all of this money. Briefly this is what we get as farm­ers:

Ponds, set­tling tanks or other sim­i­lar im­prove­ments for the pur­pose of the treat­ment of waste prod­ucts 5 per cent per an­num.

Con­struc­tion on the land of feed­ing plat­forms, feed­ing yards etc 10 per cent p.a.

Fenc­ing 100 per cent as de­ductible ex­pen­di­ture

Trav­el­ling ir­ri­ga­tors 20 per cent p.a.

Ir­ri­ga­tion pumps 13 per cent p.a.

Ir­ri­ga­tion pip­ing 13 per cent p.a.

Rub­ber for win­ter­ing pad 30 per cent p.a.

The good news is that my bank man­ager has been quite help­ful. They had just an­nounced a ‘‘ Ru­ral En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­pli­ance Loan’’. The in­ter­est rate for this type of loan is around 5 per cent, about 1 per cent lower than a 90 day BBR. This loan is up to $300,000 and is for a pe­riod of five years prin­ci­pal re­duc­ing. No es­tab­lish­ment fees ei­ther.

In the end I’ve done so much home­work I’ve to­tally con­fused my­self. At the end of the day I re­alised that I am only an ac­coun­tant try­ing to do a farmer’s job. The only way I could get a real an­swer to my prob­lem was to em­ploy a con­sul­tant spe­cial­is­ing in this field. At least I know that’s tax de­ductible.

If you would like help iden­ti­fy­ing the de­pre­ci­a­tion rates please con­tact me.

Gavin Had­don, Di­rec­tor Coop­erAitken Ac­coun­tants in Mor­rinsville, Mata­mata and

Thames. www.coop­eraitken.co.nz

Gavin Had­don

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