Access to labour, the Omicron outbreak and a late kill season will impact on farm planning this winter. According to general manager of supply chains at Silver Fern Farms Dan Boulton labour shortages are already affecting farm and processor profitability. He says they are 550 labourers short, with peak season still to come and labour from Pacific Islands basically non existent. Silver Fern Farms has in-creased its base starting wage to $24 an hour and up to $33. Dan Boulton says Omicron is the second risk that farmers and processors have to plan for and the third is Beef kill rates which are currently 2.5 per cent behind 2021 with lamb rates 9.1 per cent behind. For lambs that means about 990, 000 lambs fewer than 2021. Dan Boulton says with the number of animals in the system the North Island might run six weeks late with slaughtering back on schedule in early July. South Island is four weeks behind schedule and back on track by mid-July.