3 Mar 2010

Drought puts stress on Northland dairy farmers

1:47 pm on 3 March 2010

The Rural Support Trust in Northland says dairy farmers in the Far North are under stress as drought continues in the region.

Northland was officially declared to be in drought in early January.

Trust co-ordinator Helen Moodie says the situation is severe in the far Far North, around Dargaville and south of Whangarei.

She says while dairy production is still healthy, farms are having to rely on food supplements to maintain production.

"More and more people are finding they're having to dry their cows off to maintain cow condition," she says.

"The other issue is in the Far North a lot of farmers are autumn calving so they've got cows coming into production with no grass on their farm."

Ms Moodie says the trust now has two facilitators available to visit farms and offer advice.

She says the impact of a drought on farmers and the community is far-reaching, and urges farmers to check whether their neighbours are coping.

The trust has a stand at the Northland field days starting in Dargaville in Thursday.

Read more: Kaitaia residents urged to conserve water