3 Apr 2014

Farmers to ask Fonterra for leniency

6:25 am on 3 April 2014

Dairy farmers south of Auckland who are battling dry conditions will be asking Fonterra not to penalise them if they fail to fulfil their supply contracts.

Pukekohe dairy farmer and Federated Farmers Auckland provincial president Wendy Clark said they had had little rain in the area for the past three months.

There was little grass to feed livestock, and many farmers were feeding supplements only.

Farmers were not asking for a drought declaration but they were about to approach Fonterra and ask it to be lenient, Ms Clark said.

"With the autumn milkers, they're on a contract, and if they don't meet their milk supply they get penalised for not having produced enough," she said.

"I think Fonterra could help these guys out by recognising this is a localised drought and maybe waiving the default clause at this time."