4 Jun 2015

Heavy rain welcomed by some farmers

3:15 pm on 4 June 2015

The torrential rain which has wreaked havoc across Dunedin is causing disruptions for farmers but they say it is not all bad news.

Cows in floodwaters south of Dunedin.

Cows in floodwaters south of Dunedin. Photo: Supplied

Farmers north of Dunedin are wanting all the rain they can get and some say it is just what the land needed to break the final grip of the drought.

Those further south say it is an inconvenience but that if flooding is going to occur, this time of the year is best.

Stephen Korteweg, who farms in the Stirling-Kaitangata area, said they got a lot of rain and surface flooding but it was not too concerning.

"This morning we went out and basically the ditches were all full and flooding out into the paddocks," he said.

"Looking over into the Clutha River and I observed bales of baleage floating down the river, so somebody who stacked some baleage possibly on an area that he thought would be safe, hasn't worked out, so some of the bales at about $85 each floating down the river, he probably won't be very pleased I don't think.

"We haven't been as severely affected as probably the Dunedin/Taieri area, up around Momona around the airport. We've probably had around 100ml and they probably got another 25ml in that area."

Terrence Stirling, a sheep and deer farmer at Lovells Falt, north of Balclutha, said the farm was flooded but the water was subsiding quickly.

"I've been farming in the district since 1972, so a fair old while, but I've never had 100mls of rain, it certainly came down in a hell of a hurry.

"We were under water about two or three hours ago and it's been receeding very fast, so it's not so bad. The sheep are fine, the deer are fine, and I'm fine".

James Adam has a dairy farm just south of Dunedin which often flooded in torrential rain.

He said most of his land was under water, and it was continuing to rise as it flowed down from the Outram area.

They had just finished milking and had dried off the cows, which were being sent to grazing a week earlier than planned.

"This time of year is probably the perfect time to have a flood because the cows are finished milking and normally away to grazing, but this year, since we're not getting paid much, we milked them a bit longer," he said.

Mr Adam said he was faced with a lake when he woke up this morning.

"We took all the stock off yesterday and put them around the edges on the higher ground so that last night we could sleep.

He said he would be putting his feet up today and waiting for the water to go away.