Rural insurer FMG has three tips for farmers and contract milkers to support a successful Moving Day this year.
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Now’s the time to take some easy steps to make sure that your gear is there when you get to a new property.

FMG advice services manager Stephen Cantwell says while many are focused on moving animals, implements, households and people, it’s important to remember three other key points.

“In the lead up to, and including Moving Day, FMG sees an increase in theft claims for many regions. Higher-value, easily resalable items are magnets for thieves and in our experience lower-value quad bikes, chainsaws, tools, fuel and firearms are commonly stolen around this time,” Cantwell said.

Now’s the time to take some easy steps to make sure that your gear is there when you get to a new property.

“Firstly, look out for each other and if you see something suspicious then report it to the police,” he said.

“As you’re packing up, take the time to record the details and serial numbers of high-value assets on SNAP, a free online asset register created by the NZ Police. You may also want to engrave your gear so that if it is stolen, the police can easily identify it.

“Remain vigilant and don’t leave keys in vehicles or bikes and if you can, park them in a shed at night. Also, use high-spec padlocks on sheds”.

The second tip is how to avoid milk contamination.

This Moving Day you may have new sharemilkers or employees coming on board, which is why now’s a good time to explain how your milking shed works to avoid future milk contamination.

“Last year FMG received over 1000 milk claims amounting to $4.3 million. Around one third of these claims were due to antibiotic contamination, including chiller failure and forgetting to turn on the vat,” he said.

To help bring new sharemilkers or employees up to speed, make sure the milk shed’s systems and processes are documented and located in the shed.

“When explaining how your milk shed operates, be aware of different learning styles – some people may prefer visual charts to written instructions, and some may learn best by you running through the system in person. It pays to take the time to have a few versions prepared,” he said.

Lastly, Cantwell says those making a step-up into a contract or sharemilking role and becoming a limited liability company, need to be aware of their responsibilities as a director and/or officer.

“The New Zealand Companies Office has very good resources available as an introduction. Given the seriousness of this area, we also recommend you get legal advice – unfortunately, ignorance offers little defence if something goes wrong,” he said.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust has teamed up with Calon Wen, and wants other dairy farms to join in.

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