Sheep farmers hope for an end to days of heavy rain
South Canterbury farmers are hoping the heavy rain covering the region eases sooner rather than later as it comes for some during a critical time for lambing.
Yesterday's rain was accumulating on top of the water still left from last week's torrential downpour that saw rivers swell and caused surface flooding around the district.
Shawn Miller is halfway through lambing on his farm just south of Timaru. He moved his ewes with lambs, and ewes about to lamb, to the shelter.
"We've got plenty of shelter at the moment and it's not too bad but I would like to think it would stop very soon though," he said.
"The stock seem to be coping all right, but you just don't know for how much longer. They are looking very good at the moment but you just don't know what's around the corner."
Federated Farmers Canterbury field officer Vicky O'Connor said farmers have had a gutsful of the rain. Some farmers were cut off because there were many roads and fords that were impassable, she said.
Totara Valley ram breeder Ike Williams is thankful the rain came before lambing starts on his farm.
"Luckily I'm still three weeks away otherwise I would be really in the shit," he said.
He was still cleaning up from last week's rain, which caused widespread surface flooding and thousands of dollars of damage to a bridge he uses.
"It's [caused] a massive waste of feed. It's a concern for me as it's such a wet farm here. If it keeps going, it's going to be a nightmare here in two or three weeks."
Fairlie farmer Neil Campbell received 40mm of rain overnight on Tuesday and Wednesday and was still wet from last week's downpour.
"It's just a mess. It's not too cold but we're wasting a lot of feed," he said.
Mr Campbell, who chairs Federated Farmers South Canterbury meat and fibre section, said coastal farmers had reported no stock losses. It was fortunate the rain had come at the end of winter.
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