1 Sep 2014

Northland farmers in clean-up mode

1:25 pm on 1 September 2014

Farmers in many parts of Northland are again facing a cleanup after heavy rain over the weekend.

It's the third time in a month that the region has been battered by rain, bringing fresh flooding to farms in areas such as Kaeo.

Eastern areas and the Far North have suffered the worst this time.

Murray Waldron farms in the Kaeo-Mangonui area, where about 190 mms of rain fell over the weekend. That followed 140 mms ten days ago - when 110 mms of that fell in just three hours.

Hikurangi Swamp is one of the hardest hit areas in Northland.

Farmers in Hikurangi Swamp have yet again been hit by torrential rain and flooding. Photo: SUPPLIED

He said the latest downpour was different.

"The previous one on the Tuesday was just huge intensities of rain, quickly, when you get 110 mils of rain in three hours it's pretty quick. This one here was a lot slower and then a higher build up and then you still have all your rivers running pretty high. It keeps things a challenge."

Murray Waldron said today water is not lying on the farm.

"It comes and goes quickly. It affects more the low-lying areas south of here like the Hikurangi Swamp. They are the guys in dire straits."

Mr Waldron said he's a little concerned about more heavy rain forecast for later in the week.

Evan Sneath, who farms at the northern end of the Hikurangi Swamp said things aren't quite as bad as the previous two floods, with about 30 hectares of his farm again under water. But he has held back on trying to re-sow paddocks.

"I re-sowed after the first big rain thinking it was worth a gamble but I didn't after the last big rain".

He says he will re-sow soon, once the water has drained away.

But for another Hikurangi dairy farmer, Ben Smith, flood levels on his 100 hectare property are back to where they were after the last storm.

"Well we are talking a minimum of eight weeks once we get the grass in the ground to being able to graze it. We are looking mid to late November before we see any cows going on to the flood plains".

Mr Smith said he's lost six months of grass production.