9 Mar 2015

Rain no fix for winter crop shortage

5:44 am on 9 March 2015

Moderate to heavy rain provided much needed relief for most of the country over the weekend, but is unlikely to relieve the gripping, dry conditions in drought stricken areas.

Federated Farmers North Otago president Richard Strowger said the region was facing a major shortage of winter feed because crops were not growing with the lack of moisture.

He said it had been drier in previous years, but there were now more dairy cows than ever before.

"(The) biggest concerns for us are the winter feed for this winter, that's certainly the biggest deficit that we've got.

"Lack of rain of course means that some crops haven't established and there's nothing there, others may have established but then they've just wilted with not enough moisture and those that have done a good job can only last so long on saved moisture, and so the yields will be back considerably on the dry land," he said.

Mr Strowger said palm kernel extract, imported for use as a supplementary feed, was becoming hard to get hold of, with demand taking off and causing supply issues.

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