Snow-stricken farmers advised to take a break

Thursday 17 August 2006

MAF is urging Canterbury farmers recovering from the June snowstorm to give themselves a few days break prior to lambing or calving.

Terry Donaldson is co-ordinator of the four MAF rural support offices, set up in Ashburton, Timaru, Waimate and Fairlie to assist Canterbury farmers recovering from the snow.

He says Canterbury farming communities are generally recovering well, but many farmers need to take a few days respite from their efforts before the next onslaught in the farming calendar.

"Canterbury farming families have struggled mightily since 12 June, and most have pulled through with minimal stock losses, but it has taken its toll on the farmers themselves.

"Many have been working all daylight hours to feed out, clear up the damage and generally stay on top of the situation. They are exhausted after two months of hard work. They need to find someone to mind the farm so they can take a few days off before lambing and calving starts. For those farming on the worst hit farms, in the foothills and Mackenzie Basin, where lambing and calving is still some weeks away, this is a particular priority," says Terry Donaldson.

Any farmer having trouble finding help to look after the farm for a few days while they take a break should contact their MAF Rural Support Office on the toll-free number, 0800 2DEFROST (0800 233 376).

Meanwhile, Terry Donaldson says fears that stock feed in Canterbury would run out in the aftermath of the snow have diminished.

"At the recent PGG Wrightson Tinwald feed sale, only 15 percent of 10,000 bales of feed on sale sold, with the remainder not meeting reserve prices. Prices were well back and almost at normal levels.

"Clearly, quantities of feed are available within Canterbury and at prices much less extreme than was feared in the weeks immediately following the snow. As time passes, more farmers are releasing small surpluses and those holding out for higher prices risk disappointment," Terry Donaldson says.

Further information contact:

Terry Donaldson
Tel: 0-3-358 1747 or 0-27-433 7127


John Greer
MAF Regional Team Leader
Tel: 0-3-358 1864 or 0-27-432 7692



Last Updated: 23 September 2010

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