Wintery weather exacerbates feed shortages

// Feed Planning and Strategies

With wintery conditions increasing feed demand, livestock farmers are being encouraged to make use of industry-resourced feed management services to help get them through the next few weeks.

ewes and mountains

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s General Manager North Island Matt Ward says while much of the focus has been on Hawkes Bay and Northland, he is aware that farmers in other regions such as Marlborough and North Canterbury are also struggling with severe feed shortages.

“I really encourage farmers to pick up the phone and use the feed planning and coordinating services that the industries have put together. They help clarify thinking about what feed is required over the next few weeks and identifies what levers can be pulled.” 

Once farmers have contacted the feed-planning service, an initial stock-take is carried out and then depending on their situation, they could be referred on to other support services such as a local farm consultant to help develop a winter feed plan or Rural Support Trust.

B+LNZ has also commissioned case-studies from Northland through to Southland to show how farmers in areas affected by feed deficits are managing their resources and outlines their decision-making process and outcomes.

“These are being updated regularly and are a wealth of information with the management decisions being made as winter progresses.”

In addition, B+LNZ has commissioned a supplementary feed table, listing a wide range of supplementary feeds along with their feed value and estimated costs.

A Top of the South Drought Facebook group has been set up to connect those in the hard-hit pockets in the Tasman and Marlborough regions. The initiative, led by Seddon farmer Ally Avery, aims to share innovations, discuss concerns and assist people in accessing supplementary feed where possible.

For information about B+LNZ’s feed management services and resources go to