Friday, 30 July 2021 15:26

West Coast resilience tested

Written by  Peter Burke
The debris left over from the Buller Floods that took place last week. The debris left over from the Buller Floods that took place last week.

DairyNZ head consulting officer in the South Island, Tony Finch, says his first priority has been to get an accurate assessment of the extent of the damage on farms affected by the floods.

Finch says initially it's been about making sure that people and animals are safe - after that the focus will shift to the recovery mode.

"Once we know the extent of the problem our aim is to help them get back to the state of 'business as usual'."

Finch says silting creates all sorts of challenges and the objective is to get the land back to its productive capacity as quickly as possible, as well as repairing any damaged farm infrastructure.

In the meantime, Finch says they are making sure there is sufficient feed for stock, and helping farmers with feed budgeting.

He says there is a squeeze on the availability of supplements due to previous adverse weather events on the West Coast and floods on the East Coast. He adds that the floods have come at a critical time of the year for dairy farmers.

"We are on the cusp of calving and in a couple of weeks there will be a lot of calves on the ground, so right now there are a lot of pregnant cows around," Finch explains.

"For DairyNZ, it is around how we give those farmers as much support as we can to help them recover through this challenging time."

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