Dairy farmers' spirits have lifted as drying nor'westers make their previously saturated paddocks accessible again, making life better for farm staff and stock.
South Canterbury farmer Ben Januay was last week coping with "mud up to your waist" and feed utilisation was down to 50 per cent but this week he's much happier.
"It's a different story completely now, it's dried right out. We're right back on track now, the cows are getting full feed utilisation and things are looking positive again."
Januay is wintering his herd at Waihao Forks, near Waimate, and before the paddocks there started to dry out he was worried his herd was losing condition because they were trampling so much of their feed into the mud.
"I guess as a farmer you go through those bad patches. You've got to look after your stock and it comes right eventually."
Farms throughout Canterbury are drying out and shingle roads that last week resembled muddy farm tracks are now hard and dry as the gale force norwesters drive the moisture out.
But the winds also caused damage with a farm near Fairlie reported to have had 50 trees blown over.
- © Fairfax NZ News