NEW ZEALAND – Farming groups and councils have joined forces to ensure 5000 North Island cows have sufficient winter forage following the worst flooding in memory.
Rain late last week flooded “dozens” of paddocks, with 12 dairy farms "seriously under water" in the central Manawatu area, according to DairyNZ, which is offering grazing, grass management and feed budgeting advice and support.
Coordinated by Federated Farmers of New Zealand, the group is helping farmers deal with what the newspapers have called a "one in eighty five years event".
The collaboration includes Fonterra, the Rural Support Trust, regional councils, DairyNZ and Beef and Lamb New Zealand.
Across the broader southern Northland area in general, the media has reported road slips, fence damage, power outages and breaches of stop banks.
Yesterday, Fonterra announced its Emergency Response Team (ERT) had been activated to help in the clean-up. read more
Fonterra told TheDairySite: "Our team has phoned over 500 farms in the affected areas. Around 30 or so of our farmers have requested immediate help, and our Emergency Response Team is on the ground working with them.
"Our staff are pumping out sheds, clearing slips, and working to get farms back in working order as quickly as possible.
"We’re able to collect milk as usual from all but three farms, and we’re working to find other ways to get to those three as soon as possible."
Explaining the team-work across the group, DairyNZ’s lower North Island regional leader, James Muwunganirwa, said: “We are all sharing information and working together so we can find out who needs help.
“Fonterra’s emergency response team is in action and ringing around its 600 farmers in the central districts.
“Some farmers are milking through the winter and others are wintering dry cows on the farm so keeping their stock fed is a top priority. DairyNZ is giving one on one advice to those farmers whose pastures are flooded.”
Top image via Shutterstock