La Nina could mean below average rainfall for the South Island and lower North Island and possible flooding in northern parts of the country and comes off the back of widespread drought in many parts of the country earlier this year.
The feed planning service, which is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries and delivered by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and other specialists, help farmers complete a feed plan and connect farmers with feed deficits with sources of supplementary feed.
This service was put in place earlier this year in response to the drought and funding has now been extended to 30 June 2021.
B+LNZ’s South Island General Manager John Ladley is urging farmers to make use of these services sooner rather than later, to put together an adverse condition’s contingency plan and set critical trigger dates.
“Farmers who have experienced drought always talk about the need for early decision making and setting dates by which certain actions need to take place. The feed planning service will help farmers calculate supply and demand, identify potential shortfalls and management strategies. The service will also support farmer decision making.”
As well as the feed planning services, B+LNZ has a number of resources and tools available either on its website or in hard-copy, to help farmers make the effective and efficient use of limited feed resources and put together management strategies to deal with drought or floods.
“I would really encourage to be proactive and use tools and resources such as feed budgeting, Body Condition Scoring ewes and secure alternative feed sources early. Protecting the performance of capital stock should be the number one priority as this reduces the impact of drought on the farm business.”
Along with the feed support service, the Government has funded new animal welfare coordinators, doubling the size of the existing team.
Six new Rural Communities and Farming Support advisers are also being recruited in Northland, Taupo, Wairarapa, Manawatu, the West Coast and Southland to provide extra support on the ground.
This country’s 14 Rural Support Trusts received extra funding earlier this year to support farmer well-being and help build resilience in rural communities.
Helpful links and numbers:
Feed planning service
This service helps farmers set a feed budget.
- 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 23 33 52)
- 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 4 324 7969)
Feed coordination service
Farmers short of feed are encouraged to register on the MPI website.
B+LNZ Feed Management Resources
- See our range of feed management resources.
- A comprehensive dry management toolkit for sheep and beef farmers.
Rural Support Trust
Farmers who need wellbeing support should call their Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP or 0800 787 254.