1 May 2015

Dairy salaries on the way up

7:44 am on 1 May 2015

While dairy farmers' incomes have taken a king hit, a new survey shows pay levels for dairy farm staff and other farm employees have improved a bit.

Calves on a Waikato dairy farm.

Photo: AFP

This year's Federated Farmers-Rabobank employee remuneration survey shows a 4 percent increase in the mean (average) salary for the dairy industry.

In the grain sector, salaries have risen by more than 7 percent and by 1.8 percent on sheep and beef farms.

Rabobank's Waikato and King Country regional manager, Paul Lamont, said experienced positions on dairy farms earned the highest, but entry level salaries across all sectors were much the same: between $40,000 and $46,000.

He said the survey also showed most farmers did not appear to be struggling to find or keep good staff.

"Seventy-seven percent of them were very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their employees' performance, which I thought reflected really well on the industry and 74 percent were satisfied with their employees' skill level, so that's very encouraging.

"Sometimes you hear stories that farmers struggle to get employees, but if they get them and 77 percent are happy with them, I think it's a good sign."

Mr Lamont said over 1000 people took part in the survey, providing information on more than 3500 employees.

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