Support for cyclone-affected farmers
Region-specific support is being offered to cyclone-affected farmers, who are responding to a range of different issues on farms across the North Island.
DairyNZ is working closely with impacted dairy farmers, connecting them with the relevant support, and they are encouraged to reach out and access the resources and agencies available, particularly as flood waters recede and the extent of damage comes to light.
DairyNZ’s farm performance general manager Sarah Speight said dairy farmers in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel, Waikato, Hawkes Bay and the Lower North Island appear to be the most impacted.
“We won’t know the full extent of damage across the regions until flood waters recede, but we will continue working closely with those directly impacted to understand the support required,” says Mrs Speight.
“Recovery will take some time, but DairyNZ and other sector partners are providing regionally relevant support where possible, including feed budgeting assistance, as many cyclone-affected farmers had damage to crops and feed supplies.”
Mrs Speight said recovering from these events takes a toll on families, farm staff and their families, and farm businesses, and the support agencies are here to work with farmers through the recovery period.
DairyNZ is working closely with Fonterra, MPI, Rural Support Trust, Federated Farmers, and other rural professionals to ensure a cohesive response and provide farmers with the support they need across the regions.
“Many dairy farmers have experienced extensive flooding and wind damage, which has impacted farm paddocks, crops and infrastructure, including broken fences and damaged herd homes. Some farms are still without power, which is causing real concern, as it impacts farmers’ ability to milk their cows and provide fresh water,” said Mrs Speight.
“The focus for farmers right now is to ensure that their animals are fed, watered and comfortable. We know that if milking is an issue, cows can tolerate delays of a few days and can return to production with careful handling. Recovery of pastures and cropped areas should be discussed once the situation is clearer, either with your DairyNZ extension partner or relevant rural professionals.”
DairyNZ is in the process of organising online regional events and in-person response events. This will be in collaboration with other agencies and allow communities to support each other and provide the opportunity to hear from key rural professionals including local veterinarians and bankers, to further support the recovery.
For more information and tools for cyclone recovery visit dairynz.co.nz/adverse-events.
If you need further support contact your local DairyNZ extension partner or call 0800 4 DairyNZ, or alternatively contact Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.