Tuesday, 27 February 2018 09:55

‘Farmers got off lightly’

Written by  Peter Burke
Damien O’Connor. Damien O’Connor.

Despite all the damage inflicted on the dairy sector by ex-cyclone Gita, the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor thinks farmers got off lightly.

He told Dairy News, just after flying over badly hit Takaka and the West Coast, that it could have been worse. 

He praised the local councils, farmers and others who prepared for the cyclone, and Fonterra for working hard to barge milk from dairy farmers to the processing plant.

“Takaka itself is isolated and milk processing is an issue as is getting petrol and other supplies into the town.The northern part around Takaka and Riwaka had been hard hit by the water and some of the slips on the road. 

“Further down the Coast there was a bit of wind damage but they got out of it quite well. In general we got off relatively lightly from what was a big storm,” he says.

O’Connor says big pockets of rain had come down hard in some catchments but not in others, having a mitigating effect in terms of damage. 

But the slips will take people a lot of time to clean up, especially with this latest storm following hard on the previous one – “a big challenge for people”.

O’Connor says some Westport farm buildings had their roofs blown off and drought there means farmers don’t have a lot of surplus feed.

“We hope we get some fine weather to get the grass growing before winter,” he says. 

More like this

Mixed outlook for primary sector

After five years of growth, New Zealand's primary exports are heading for a drop in 2021 - but with a bounce back predicted in 2022.

NZ seeks Irish support

New Zealand is looking to Ireland for support as it negotiates a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU).

Call for new commissioner for animals

Animal rights group SAFE and the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA) have written an open letter to the Prime Minister asking her to appoint a Commissioner for Animals.

How's it going?

A mate of the Hound’s wonders just how Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is getting along with his 2IC in the agriculture portfolio Meka Whaitiri.

Featured

Dairy conversion - Otaki style

Near the Horowhenua town of Otaki, dairy conversion has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s not a case of converting sheep and beef farms to dairy farms, rather it’s a case of just converting old dairy sheds to country style tourist accommodation. Reporter Peter Burke visited two such conversions by two pretty special and creative women.

 

Bringing flat batteries to life

Given the absence of power outlets in many remote buildings on New Zealand farms, there’s every chance of ending up with a flat battery when away from civilisation for an extended period.

Kuhn bolsters mower range

Kuhn has bolstered its mower conditioner range with the addition of two rear mounted/ vertical folding models with a 3.10m working width.

2020 property market closes on a healthy note

Data release by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 175 more farm sales for the three months ending December 2020 than for the same period in 2019.

National

Expat workers ready for NZ

Dairy industry recruitment company Rural People Limited is seeing a huge increase in overseas interest to fill New Zealand farming…

Machinery & Products

Kubota ROPS tractors here

Kubota New Zealand product specialist Shaun Monteith says Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) tractors make up 30% of all tractors in…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Dung paint

India now has its own cow dung paint, a world-first. 

Fresh for 60 days

A Queensland-based company is set to release its own production of milk this year that stays fresh for at least…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter