1 Jul 2013

Winter storms send farm feed prices soaring

9:26 am on 1 July 2013

Winter storms which which dumped heavy snow through much of the South Island and left some areas under water have sent supplementary feed prices soaring.

Southern farmers have been warned that feed shortages could become an issue if they get hit with more wild winter weather.

Otago Federated Farmers president Stephen Korteweg says farmers in the south did not go into winter with big surpluses of hay or straw.

He says those in snow-bound or waterlogged areas have already used much of their winter feed supplies because crops and pasture have been inaccessible.

Mr Korteweg says if it's a normal winter things will be tight and if it's a mild winter it will be fine, but if there are more severe conditions feed could become critical.

He says there is not a lot of surplus feed available and farmers need to assess if they are going to need additional feed and buy it now, rather than taking a wait and see approach in an attempt to avoid paying the current elevated prices.

Mr Korteweg says he was told by one agent that some reasonable quality baleage costs about $135 per bale at present, about twice as much as it would usually be.