Dead lambs and damaged bridges are being reported as farmers take stock following the heavy rain that hit the lower North Island this week.
The wet weather caused flooding in Feilding, Whanganui and in rural areas such as Turakina, while slips were also reported across the region.
Farmers have been out assessing damage to properties, Ross Collier in Taihape reporting most of his new born lambs were lost.
Mr Collier said younger sheep, or hoggets, were lambing during the heavy rain.
"We lost 95 to 100 per cent of those lambs born during the four days of rain."
He said farmers on the harder hill country near Taihape had experienced some damage to hills, which had slipped. He said some farmers had water running through their yards, which had not happened before.
But the rain was patchy as damage occurred in some places, and not on farms a few kilometres away, Mr Collier said.
In Turakina, farmer Mike Webster said the rain punched a hole in the farm's swing bridge, at least 1km of river fence had been buried or broken, and about 15 hectares of farmland was covered in silt.
Mr Webster said access across the Whangaehu River was impossible as it was still running high, and as the approaches were now walls of silt there was no hope of getting a digger near them.
"I've never seen so much timber in the river as this time - whole trees with soil still around their roots and a lot of old logs that had obviously been pulled out and off banks."
Mr Webster said he was pleased with the flood warning he received from Horizons Regional Council, which he called a vast improvement on previous years.
"They were timely and wide-reaching and accurate. The river level forecasting feature on the Horizons website allowed people to make decisions early and that, coupled with previous experience, I'm sure, prevented a lot of stock losses."
He said thaqt the timing of the heavy rain could not have been worse for the cropping farmers in the valley.
"A lot of maize crops on the flooded areas had just been sown, so may be wiped out, and much of the unsown ground will now take so long to dry out as to be unusable for maize, but will only be suitable for ryegrass or kale crops for the winter."
Horizons regulatory manager Richard Munneke said help was available. "We'd like to help farmers get through the clean-up phase as quickly as possible.
"In light of the floods, if there are minor replacement works that need to be done we won't be requiring farmers to get a resource consent provided they are rebuilding what was there originally," Mr Munneke said.
Some bridges and culverts may have failed because they were too small for the flood waters to clear, and if farmers thought that may apply on their property they should contact Horizons.
"We can also provide advice on any issues with flood waters not draining away, so if you are facing this please give us a call."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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