4 Oct 2010

Stock feed offered in wake of storms in south

1:07 pm on 4 October 2010

Southern farmers and some in the North Island desperate for stock feed after the storms that struck two weeks ago will be able to draw on supplies compiled by Federated Farmers.

Surveys of the thousands of Southland and South Otago farms hit by the severe snow storms and extreme conditions have indicated that feed is one of the most pressing needs for some .

Southland Federated Farmers president, Rod Pemberton, says its feed-list has more than 10,000 bales of hay and 1300 tonnes of other feed offered by other farmers.

That includes offerings from the North Island, which may be suitable for Manawatu or central North Island farmers, who have also experienced rough weather and stock losses during the past month.

Dozens of relief teams visited farms in Southland and South Otago last week, and The Federated Farmers Adverse Events Trust has so far supplied more than 100,000 in direct aid, contributed by rural businesses, banks and insurers.

The Federation is hosting three post-storm meetings at Wyndham, Otautau and Balclutha over the next three nights, to provide farmers and their families with information to help them get back to get back on their feet and a chance to relax and socialise.

Federated Farmers' chief executive Conor English says in some ways recovery is going to be more of a challenge for those farmers than for their Canterbury counterparts who have suffered damage to land and buildings from the earthquake.

Rural Support Trust Southland is also involved in organising the meetings, which will include representatives from major banks.

Farmers say the storm was probably the worst the province has endured since 1949 and many incurred big stock losses.