Helping farmers grow when going gets tough

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BIG FUTURE: James Alcaniz is Mansfield’s resident agri-finance expert.

AUSTRALIAN producers have a combined total debt of more than $60 billion.

Each year, farmers must juggle their repayments with bad seasons, poor crops, drought, unstable markets, family circumstances and the uncertainty of what tomorrow’s weather might bring.

James Alcaniz, agribusiness relationship manager with Rural Bank, knows first-hand how intense the juggling act can be.

Last week, sitting in the balmy Mansfield sunshine, his phone was ringing hot.

Producers were panicked – with up to 200ml predicted to fall over the weekend – and those on the land were staring down the barrel of seasonal disaster.

Canola growers in Shepparton were working around the clock trying to get their crop off the ground, dairy farmers were pulling all-nighters to bring in lucerne that was cut days before, and beef and sheep producers were moving animals to higher ground.

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