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Flooding hits Northland farms hard

Last updated 15:04 10/07/2014

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Some Northland farmers will not be able to milk their cows because of power cuts caused by the wild weather, DairyNZ Northland leader Tafi Manjala says.

The storm had hit Northland farms hard with power outages, equipment damage and flooded pastures, he said.

"If you don't have power, check whether your neighbour has power and if you can use his shed to milk your cows," Manjala said.

"Alternatively you may want to hire a generator, but make sure you consult with an electrician to make sure you hire the right one for your sheds' wiring."

While it was important to get cows milked, DairyNZ research had shown delays of up to a week could be tolerated by mid-lactation herds. With careful handling they could return to full or near-full milk production. Herds in early lactation were more problematic, but there might be the option of leaving calves on cows where shelter was available or reducing milking frequency for a short time.

"The power outages may also affect dairy company's collection times from farms so it's important farmers keep in touch with their milk company," Manjala said.

"If there are heavy demands on your time clearing away damage or sorting out problems it may be worthwhile to miss a few milkings and sacrifice some production in the short term to allow you to cope better for the rest of the season."

Farmers wanting more information about managing the effects of an adverse event should check the DairyNZ website and talk with their rural professional or DairyNZ consulting officer.

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