“DairyNZ has already been in touch with farmers in the area to offer support and we are encouraging anyone who hasn’t been contacted or who needs ongoing assistance to contact us. There is a wide range of advice, resources and information available,” DairyNZ West Coast Consulting Officer Angela Leslie says.
Farmers needing help and advice can contact DairyNZ or the Rural Support Trust by phone. They can go to DairyNZ’s website for excellent resources designed to help during adverse weather events and the recovery phase. Farmers can also contact Leslie direct by phone.
Leslie says at least five dairy farms south of the Waiho River have been impacted by the heavy rain. She says the farmers are now in recovery mode and are working hard to get their farms back to a workable state.
The farms have limited ways to have their milk collected after the Waiho Bridge, in Franz Josef, was destroyed. She understands other farms’ access may have been impacted due to temporary road closures.
The recovery work for some of the farmers will take some time. Debris on paddocks will need to be removed, erosion issues addressed, fencing replaced and possibly in places pasture renovated.
Leslie says damage to farm infrastructure has fortunately been limited, with most reportedly caused to fences. “It’s unclear at this stage how much damage has been caused to pasture but we have had reports of loss of top soil.” No stock have been reported affected. “Fortunately, famers had time to prepare and many moved cows to higher ground and away from rivers.
“Farmers on the coast are a resilient bunch and will get through this current situation but I would encourage them to tap into the resources and support that are available to help,” Leslie says.
For help farmers should:
- Phone DairyNZ on 0800 4 DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969)
- Phone Angela Leslie on 021 277 2894
- Go to DairyNZ’s website at www.dairynz.co.nz
- Phone the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254
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