20 Jan 2015

Farmers may struggle to afford extra feed

6:54 am on 20 January 2015

The dairy industry body,Dairy NZ, says there will be enough feed to get farmers in parched parts of the country through the season, even if there is not much rain.

But Dairy NZ General manager of extension Craig McBeth said the main issue could be whether dairy farmers would have the cash to pay for buying in extra feed, with the big drop in this season's milk payouts.

"Two years ago when we had a drought that affected pretty much the whole of the North Island, there was some concern about being able to source enough feed to fill the gap in terms of the amount of home-grown feed on farms.

"This year, the dry weather is more centred around the east coast of both islands and other parts of the country do have good levels of supplement on hand, be it grass silage or access to other supplements such as palm kernel or concentrated feeds.

"So the ability of farmers to source feed is there, it's just whether it's in close enough proximity to where they need it and whether they can get it on farm and fed to cows in a way that's going ton be economically sensible for them to do that."

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