Rural crime is on the rise, and being prepared is key to preventing anything on your farm.

This is the message FMG is preaching to farmers, and Southland area manager Guy Taylor was on hand to deliver it at the farm tech day in Tokanui last week.

At the event, organised by the Walago Ladies farm discussion group with support from the Agri-Women's Development Trust, a range of speakers talked about the latest technologies in the agriculture sector.

Mr Taylor said farmers did not want thieves on their properties and the best thing they could do was keep them away in the first place.

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An insurer could fix a farmer's house and belongings, but could not help with the emotional aspects of a house fire or theft.

Most people talked about risk related to physical things, such as tractors, quad bikes and tools, but there were also aspects of operational risk and key person risks, Mr Taylor said.

''When stuff goes wrong here, that's when things go really wrong.''

The most important part of any operation was the people, and everyone needed to remember that, he said.

In the past five years, FMG has paid out $26.4 million in claims - 1600 claims per year, 30 claims per week.

In Southland, $110,000 was paid out in claims in the past year, $75,000 of that in the past six months.

Domestic contents items which were most targeted were iPads, phones, laptops and televisions.

The most common items stolen from farms included tools, fuel, compressors, welders, grinders and farm bikes.

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''Installing security lights and even alarms can help,'' Mr Taylor said.

He threw some questions to the room about whether people talked to their neighbours and had their numbers if something suspicious was going on.

The biggest piece of advice he could offer, he said, was if someone spotted something suspicious going on, to ring the police.

Mr Taylor also spoke about house fires and simple and effective measures people could take to protect their homes.

Other speakers at the day included Olivia Ross, from Beef + Lamb New Zealand, talking about apps and computer tricks, the Techion Group on the latest in parasite control and Tru-test on getting the best out of scales and weigh gear.

The group hopes to host a similar day every year.