Federated Farmers is urging farmers who need stock feed, and those willing to donate or supply it, to use the National Feed Co-ordination Service.
“Offers of feed continue to pour in and that’s fantastic,” Federated Farmers Tararua President Sally Dryland says. However, some depots are becoming overrun in places with goods being dropped off.
The co-ordination service activated by the Ministry for Primary Industries and operated by Federated Farmers is the most efficient way of keeping track of everything, Sally says. An alternative if your internet is still down, or you have particular questions, is to ring your local Feds president.
“We want it to go to those most in need in the most direct manner possible. Apart from anything that keeps transport costs and emissions to a minimum.
“Tararua-wise I’m humbled by the number of local farmers who have signalled a desire to donate hay and silage. We appreciate the local truckies offering to help with free transport too,” Sally says.
The Tararua Rural Support Trust has nearly finished visiting all the affected farmers in that region and will now work with Feds to distribute feed. Some of this may be required in a month or two when grass on flood-damaged pasture, or farmers’ own feed stores, has been eaten.
In areas such as Gisborne, where there is such widespread pasture damage, there is a likelihood that capital stock may need to go off grazing over winter.
Acting Gisborne President Charlie Reynolds is also thankful for all the offers of support coming their way.
“It’s a massive effort understanding the logistics of moving stock and feed around when we have so many roads impacted,” Charlie says. “The feed co-ordination service will help us marry up feed with need.”
Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay President Jim Galloway is conscious that needs are not clearly understood yet as some districts are very much in a response mode rather than recovery.
“Once we know if we can get feed in, we will be very thankful those who can deliver straight to the farm.”
Bay of Plenty’s president Brent Mountfort was quick to offer support to Gisborne farmers.
“The feed is here on local farms ready to go as soon as we know where. We appreciate the efforts to limit the amount of travel, and handling by direct farmer-to-farmer support. The co-ordination service can facilitate that,” Brent says.
Horse, displaced dogs and cats, alpaca and other pet needs are being co-ordinated by groups including HUHA and the SPCA.
Sally Dryland says we all need to work together to get feed not only to where it’s needed, but when it’s needed. “Using the Feed Co-ordination Service gives those dealing with the logistical challenges an opportunity to get through response stage before moving to the recovery and winter/long-term needs being addressed.”