12 Feb 2016

Stock demand up after drought breaks

3:59 pm on 12 February 2016

Rain in North Otago has got the grass growing again after 16 months of drought and created a strong demand for stock.

No caption

Photo: 123rf.com

Federated Farmers North Otago president Richard Strowger said in the past six weeks between 80 and 120mm of rain had fallen in the region.

He said due to low stocking rates the feed had come away nicely, but a shortage of stock meant prices were getting silly in some cases.

"Store lambs and old ewes people have been paying ridiculous money for ... just because they've got grass."

There was no market for turning excess grass into silage because dairy farmers were on tight incomes and were not buying much feed this year, he said.

"A lot of our silage would normally go to the dairy farmers but this year that's out there too, so it's creating a lot of demand to get something to eat it.

"We got 40mm of rain before Christmas and that certainly lifted spirits a bit too because people remembered it will rain again and then we've had this bit more. The real harsh El Nino they said we were going to get hasn't been as hard as last year so that's been a real blessing."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs