Friday, 25 June 2021 10:58

Grazing sought for drought and flood-affected Canterbury livestock

Written by  Staff Reporters
MPI’s director of Rural Communities and Farming Support Nick Story. MPI’s director of Rural Communities and Farming Support Nick Story.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says it is helping drought and flood-affected farmers in Canterbury to find alternative grazing for their livestock.

Widespread flooding caused by a one in 200-year rainfall event earlier this month caused significant damage to thousands of hectares across the region.

MPI has allocated $4.5 million to support flood-affected farmers, including providing grants to help repair uninsurable damage to farms.

“I have visited farms where pasture and winter fodder crops have been buried under flood debris,” says MPI director of rural communities and farming support Nick Story.

“This event has been an extremely challenging situation for farmers. The worst affected farms have a need for alternative grazing for their sheep, beef cattle and dairy cows.”

MPI’s national Feed Coordination Service has been expanded to help find grazing, distribute donated feed, and connect people with surplus feed to farmers who need it.

“Our feed coordinators had more than 35 additional requests from flood-affected farmers in the first half of June who need grazing and feed,” says Story.

“It’s likely the worst flood-affected paddocks will be unusable for some time, so we expect demand will increase further as we move through the winter.

“The service is keen to hear from people who may be able to help with grazing, especially those in Otago, Southland or the West Cost.”

Farmers can also receive free support to complete a feed plan to help make crucial decisions about feed this winter and ahead of spring.

“The service helps calculate feed demand and supply, and options to fill feed gaps. Having a feed plan can help give you piece of mind,” says Story.

Anyone with surplus feed or grazing, or farmers who need support to do a feed plan, are encouraged to call 0800 327 646 or register online.

Farmers needing help to clean up can call or register using the details above to enable industry groups to match them with volunteers.

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