The Hawke’s Bay Rural Advisory Group has met with the chair of its Canterbury counterpart to find out how the community can best support farmers impacted by the Canterbury floods.
Hawke’s Bay RAG chair Lochie MacGillivray says the message is clear – farmers in this region need to be careful about donating their feed.
He says at this point in time, the best support that the community can provide, is moral support to friends and family in Canterbury and a financial contribution to one of the many formal organisations who are supporting the farming community.
“We understand why farmers will want to donate feed, however this comes with biosecurity risksfor Canterbury farmers, unexpected transport costs at their end and it needs to be well co-ordinated to ensure that the feed of the right quality goes to the right stock.
“Hawkes Bay has entered a dry winter, and our farmers need to be absolutely sure that any feed donations are surplus to their requirements,” says Mr MacGillvray.
Canterbury Rural Advisory Group chair Winton Dalley acknowledges the situation that Hawke’s Bay farmers are also facing and would not want to see their generosity compromise their own feed security going into winter.
He says the situation in Canterbury is complex.
“Our farmers across the region are in the midst of a drought, and now we have several hundred farmers who are suddenly dealing with the impacts of the flood”.
“Damaged fencing and shingle covering pasture are major issues, and many of our hill country farms and dairy farms on the plains are in bad shape. At this stage, farmers are assessing their damage and costs, and need to come up with a recovery plan for the weeks ahead,” he says.
“We appreciate the recognition of our challenges, however the response needs to be well planned, and meet the critical needs of the impacted farmers.”
“We encourage communities who wish to support farmers affected by flooding to donate to the East Coast Rural Support Trust Rural Support Trust. The Hawke’s Bay Rural Advisory Group will allocate the funding to the Canterbury response, once the Canterbury flood assistance organisations have carried out their assessments of what is required,” he says.
Please donate to the East Coast Rural Support Trust bank account: 06 0613 0045236 00 with the reference Flood Donation.
22 June 2021
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