BOP dairy farmers feeling the bite of drought

File photo.


Bay of Plenty dairy farmers are hurting as the drought begins to bite.

But Federated Farmers says none of them are seeking assistance just yet.

Bay of Plenty Province president Darryl Jensen says farmers are starting to make the hard calls about getting rid of surplus stock and milking cows once a day, instead of twice.

“Milking in the heat is very stressful on farmers and animals, and they’re trying to minimise that.

“It’s the welfare of themselves and animals that they are looking at.

“By choosing to milks their cows once a day, they can carry it out in the cool of the morning and get their cows in the shade during the day.

“Personally, milk production is starting to drop on my farm too.” 

Darryl says some farmers are out there looking at sourcing extra feed to keep the animals going.

He says Federated Farmers has a feed line and some farmers with surplus feed have been donating feed.

But there have been no enquiries for it from within The Bay of Plenty region.

“The drought is a slow moving beast and we’re encouraging farmers to be proactive instead of reactive,” says Darryl.

“We are trying to promote the idea of looking at issues, plan ahead and make good and sensible plans rather than leaving it to the last minute.

“A bonus is we’ve had a very good spring and summer, so a lot of supplements have been made and farmers have reasonable amounts of feed reserves on hand to get them through.

“But we are still looking at the heavens and praying for rain and is doesn’t look as though there’s any on the horizon at the moment.”


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