25 Feb 2015

Farmers urged to prepare for worst

5:27 am on 25 February 2015

Farmers in drought-stricken areas are being urged to prepare stock feed plans with a worst case scenario in mind.

A feed shortage has not yet been signalled any where in the country, though one palm kernel extract supplier, ADM, said spot supply of the supplement feed was beginning to dry up in south Canterbury.

Federated Farmers mid-Canterbury president, Willy Leferink, said more feed was being offered than needed on the Federated Farmers Feedline, but he was urging people to organise contracts for grains or supplementary feed.

People should not take a wait and see approach because farmers would not be in a luxury position for feed this winter, said Mr Leferink.

"I would recommend any farmer to start plan D, not plan B, plan D, this is not Armageddon, but you know very close to it. You have to look at you situation, your worst situation that you'll be in June or July and then work back from there ... you know rather than sit and wait and hope that things improve and then act accordingly cause you might be in for a very expensive exercise."

He suggested making a budget, consulting a farm adviser and being realistic: "Don't think the gods will solve this, it is your in charge of your own destiny it's really important to be proactive this time".

Mr Leferink said rain over the past few days had provided some relief for mid Canterbury, but areas further south had missed out.