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Flood Relief Update

Flood Relief Update

The response to requests for grazing land has been overwhelming but feed is still needed for animals shifted to escape flooding in the lower half of the North Island, said Dairy Farmers of New Zealand (DFNZ) and the New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers Council (NZMFP).

"We have had sufficient offers of land for displaced animals. No more is required," said DFNZ Chairman Kevin Wooding and NZMFP Chairman Ian Corney.

"However those farms which have taken animals from flooded areas are effectively over stocked. That means they have too many animals and too little feed. So we still need farmers to donate either baleage (baled silage) or hay. Any offers would be greatly appreciated," said Mr Wooding. Offers of feed can be made in an email to flooding@fedfarm.org.nz

DFNZ and the NZMFP are industry groups within Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Corney said that the feed situation will have to be monitored closely in the next few weeks. Overstocked farms are using their reserves to feed the extra animals, which may leave a number of farmers without sufficient feed for the winter.

Both industry group leaders expressed concern at the effect of the flood on families and the wider communities.

"There have been significant losses and replacing capital stock will be a very high cost for many farmers," Mr Corney said.

Mr Corney said that the relief effort will go on for months rather than weeks. "I encourage people to contribute to the federation's Adverse Events Trust," he said. Donations to the trust can be made at any National Bank.

Mr Wooding said that the farming community was rallying to the call for help.

"This is typical of rural people. When the community is hit, others band together to help out," Mr Wooding said, adding that many flood victims will need moral and financial support for the months to come.

Federated Farmers has set up a freephone line (0800 335 663) for farmers seeking help, and an email address (flooding@fedfarm.org.nz) for farmers and others offering assistance. There has so far been 150 offers of help from throughout New Zealand.

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