Demand is light for the feed co-ordination service at present but Federated Farmers Adverse Events Manager Julie Geange expects that will change in coming months.
The service, operated by Feds with funding support from MPI, was re-launched in mid-February for districts swatted by Cyclone Gabrielle. It was also open to the very dry parts of Otago and Southland.
By the second week of May, 33 farms had registered a need for feed or grazing, most of them in Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti, but a few in Northland. However, Julie pointed out that many other farms had donated feed delivered straight to their door by fellow farmers.
“There were trucks going everywhere,” she said.
“It has been a great growing season so there’s low feed utilisation at the moment. But when the grass stops growing and everything cools down, it’s highly likely there will be a pinch.
“Lots of farms have fences down and haven’t been able to manage the way their stock are feeding as they usually would. We do see the need for the feed service in late winter or early spring.”
Julie said Federated Farmers was in discussion with MPI just to make sure farmers are able to have that certainty if they run into trouble later on.
As at the second week of May, 75,000 bales had been listed with the co-ordination service, with about 10,000 of those having been donated. Feds is working with the Rural Support Trust so that donated feed goes to those with the greatest need.
- Requests to list or seek grazing or feed can be made online at the MPI’s website or by phoning 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646).