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Ballance signs up record shareholders

Ballance signs up record shareholders

A record number of farmers from around the country have secured shareholdings in Ballance Agri-Nutrients in time to receive a rebate on their fertiliser purchased from the farm nutrient co-operative in September this year.

Ballance’s rebate and dividend in the 2013 financial year averaged a record $65 per tonne.

Nearly 1000 farmers signed up to become shareholders for the 2014 financial year which ended on 31 May.

Customers are required to sign up before the end of year cut off to be automatically eligible for a rebate payment for purchases during the year. In the rush to sign up before the year ended, some 300 new shareholders signed up in May 2014 alone.

Chairman David Peacocke said that as smaller farms become integrated into larger farming enterprises, growing the shareholder base from a shrinking number of farm owners is no small accomplishment.

“We’re hearing that customers like what our co-operative is doing, and they want to be part of it. The influx is quite a step change from prior years, and nearly double the amount of new shareholders compared to last year. Interest has certainly picked up and we think this reflects our stable financial performance over recent years and our consistent performance with rebates. For a relatively modest outlay, customers who become shareholders get access to those rebates, essentially proving an overall reduction in the fertiliser costs which are a regular item on farm budgets.”

Mr Peacocke said the low initial outlay and the ability to share up via rebates made shareholding in the co-operative easily affordable.

“We have also looked at how we can add more value to being a shareholder as part of our approach to complete farm nutrient management. In addition to rebates, for examples, our shareholders have free access to a base package of our Ag Hub online farm management system including GIS interactive farm mapping, access to farm nutrient budgets, soil tests and fertiliser plan histories, and online ordering for Ballance products. ”

Ballance’s shares are currently valued at $8.10, and are regularly reviewed with the board recommending to shareholders if revaluations reflecting the company’s performance should take place. They have been re-valued three times in the past six years, with the last increase of 60 cents voted in by shareholders at the last annual meeting in September 2013.


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