Focus on wellbeing and farm recovery for cyclone-affected
Cyclone-affected farmers and their communities are encouraged to look out for their wellbeing, as they enter week three of farm recovery.
A range of support agencies have been working with 1000 dairy farms impacted by the cyclone, with around 200 dairy farms across Northland and Hawke’s Bay experiencing moderate to severe damage.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says it is an incredibly challenging period for all communities that are impacted, and the nationwide response is hugely heartening.
“The wellbeing of our farmers, their families and staff, and wider communities is important to us, especially with the compounding issues faced in the past couple of weeks,” says Dr Mackle.
“Our farmers are known for their resilience, but these times are testing for those who are in the middle of farm recovery. Even those not immediately impacted by the cyclone will likely be feeling the pressure and impacts of the long periods of wet weather we are seeing in the north and across the East Coast.
“We encourage farmers to look out for each other, support their team so they know it is okay to ask for help, and check in on their neighbours as we all work together.”
All farmers are encouraged to reach out and talk to others, including Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 or Rural Employee Support Hub on 0800 694 121.
On-farm recovery, DairyNZ continues to work with impacted dairy farmers.
“Our teams are providing farm-specific advice and support, as farmers consider their immediate business continuity and start to consider how to set their farms up to recover as quickly as possible,” says Dr Mackle.
“This includes thinking about what needs to be actioned now, to ensure a good start to next season. A critical focus is on feed assessments and feed budgeting with farmers.
“DairyNZ will also continue to run events and discussion groups in affected regions, which will have a focus on dealing with specific on-farm challenges, planning, and moving forward. These events give farmers the opportunity to connect with other farmers and discuss their strategies towards recovery.”
Information and applications for MPI’s Cyclone Gabrielle funding is available at mpi.govt.nz.
Farmers requiring grazing or supplementary feeding can contact the National Feed Coordination Service on 0800 327 646.