15 Mar 2013

Sheep and cows suffer in drought

6:38 am on 15 March 2013

Farmers around the country are reporting their stock are now really feeling the brunt of the drought.

A farmer at Tutira in Northern Hawke's Bay, Clark Crystal, says farmers in his area are having to rescue sheep daily as they get into trouble seeking water.

He says as dams are drying out, stock are trying to get a drink but then getting stuck in the mud and farmers he knows are having to go around their farms each day to pull stock out.

John McCarthy, who farms near Ohakune on the Central Plateau, has had a similar experience as stock get desperate for water.

He says he and his son had to pull about 30 lambs out of a boggy creek which stock don't usually go near.

In the dairy industry many farmers are now making the call to dry off their cows early.

A Federated Farmers sharemilking spokesperson Tony Wilding says farmers just don't have enough feed to milk their cows through to the end of the season in May.

He says farmers would otherwise be forced to use their winter feed reserves.