June 2014...The majority of sharemilking agreements contain a “limitation” provision. Such a clause sets a time limit for either the owner or the sharemilker to make a claim against the other arising out of the previous season’s contract. As examples the Federated Farmers Herd Owning Sharemilking Agreement 2010 provides a limitation period of 28 days while the Federated Farmers Variable Order Sharemilking Agreement 2001 provides a period of “21 clear business working days”.
Different forms provide different time limits, but generally time expires a month after the end of the season. If a party does not notify a claim to the other party in writing within that period, that party loses their right to pursue whatever claim they might have.
Both farm owners and sharemilkers alike need to be diligent at the end of the season in assessing the compliance of the other party with the terms of the agreement particularly in relation to Dry Matter at the end of the season, Supplementary Feed, weed control, re-grassing, and maintenance obligations.
Where there is non compliance, claims need to be formulated and notified as soon as possible, and within the period prescribed by the agreement.