Lamb plan enables farmers to buy in lambs with no financial outlay, pocketing the profit minus costs


The ability to buy lambs with no financial outlay and enjoy a profit after four months was a win-win in 2020 for Benneydale farmers Sandy and Kay Smith.

“We traditionally buy in and fatten lambs every year but spring can be a cash-strapped time of year so when NZ Farmers Livestock introduced its Lamb Plan enabling us to buy-in lambs with no financial outlay pocketing the profit minus costs when the lambs were sold, it seemed too good to be true,” Sandy Smith said.

“So we dipped our toe in the water and bought 100 lambs in the spring of 2020. Four months later we doubled our money when the lambs were sold.

“From applying to buying and selling, NZ Farmers Livestock did everything; it was really easy; all we had to do was farm the lambs well – and then pocket the profit minus costs. It freed up capital so we could do other things on the farm.

“A huge part of the success of the plan is our NZFL’s representative’s ability to buy and sell the lambs at the right time and for the best price.

“Repeating the exercise this year was a no-brainer, so we’re now looking to buy 400 to 500 lambs,” Sandy Smith said.

NZ Farmers Livestock (NZFL) developed the Lamb Plan based on a similar model it has successfully run for dairy service bulls over the last 15 years.

NZFL Financial Services Manager, Simon Williams, said that in the launch year of the Lamb Plan, farmers averaged between 30% and 40% profit per lamb over a four month period “and we are looking for these sort of percentages to continue” he said.

“NZFL developed the Lamb Plan based on a similar model we had successfully run for dairy service bulls over the last 15 years. The Bull Plan is very popular with dairy farmers so it made sense to apply the same successful formula to another livestock sector.

“To take part in the Lamb Plan farmers simply apply for short term financing through us and then buy lambs through their NZFL agent.

“Three to four months later the lambs are sold through their NZFL agent for the highest price (at the yards or the works) and the farmer can then choose whether to be paid out the profit or use that profit when he or she decides to “buy again”. It’s entirely their choice.

“We advance 100% (including GST) of the purchase price of the lambs – all the farmer needs to pay is the cost of trucking. There are no hidden costs. They get a copy of the purchase invoice and are able to claim the GST.”

Simon Williams said applying for the finance package is easy. “We know farmers need a flexible, easy and fast way to access short term finance – and this is it with a decision within 24 hours of application.

“The NZFL Lamb Plan enables farmers to make a decent return with no money upfront. It’s a great deal.”