Southern flooding

Southern flooding

Rural Updates

Published on Thursday, February 13, 2020

Event date: 3/18/2020 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Export event

For information about general help check this flyer:

Useful contacts

General information and assistance:

  • Government helpline on 0800 779 997 from 9am-5pm daily, including the weekend.

Animal welfare concerns

Industry body recovery information


Flooded wrapped bales can be ruined, especially if they have been moved around in floodwaters. If a stack/pit has been partially flooded and safe access is possible, it may be possible to feed the unaffected upper section of the stack.

  • We recommend farmers check with their insurance company, as they may cover the cost of baleage damaged in the flood, or the cost of disposal for baleage washed on to their property. 
  • Rotten baleage/silage should NOT be fed to pregnant animals or colostrum cows
  • Baleage could be composted
  • Baleage wrap can be recycled by Plasback - 
  • As a last resort baleage and/or baleage wrap can be deposited in an on-farm landfill.
  • If you have any concerns of safety of use or disposal of baleage content and/or wrap, please contact your vet or refer to industry guidelines.


  • If you can’t comply with your consent conditions, please call the Environment Southland Compliance team 0800 76 88 45 or ORC on 0800 474 082 to discuss the right short-term management approaches before you take any action.


Flood Bank Damage

Please contact Environment Southland (ES) for advice. Regardless if they are owned by ES or not. Phone 0800 76 88 45


If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs and lodge insurance claims as soon as possible.

  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which troughs are contaminated with silt and will need cleaning?
  • Assess damage to access lanes, tracks, gateways, culverts and fences. What clearing away of flood debris is needed?
  • Assess damage to pastures, the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other undamaged feed reserves.
  • Please accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.


General farm damage and recovery

Stay well

GoodYarn Workshop - Wednesday 18 March 2020 in Winton

GoodYarn farmer wellness workshops help participants recognise and respond appropriately to friends, family, farming colleagues or customers suffering from stress or mental illness. 

GoodYarn workshops help you...
*  discuss mental wellbeing openly and effectively with friends, family and farming colleagues
* recognise signs of stress and other mental health problems
* reduce and manage stress
 * find appropriate support services.

To register for this free event, email

Stress and fatigue are normal post-event. If you are concerned about yourself or someone, talk to your GP, call or text 1737 for free trained counsellors, or call your Rural Support Trust. 

The Southland DHB advises you can talk with Southland Mental Health Emergency Services (SMHET) or Southland Public Hospital Emergency Department (ED) on Kew Road in an emergency.  It is useful to have a support person/advocate with the person to identify any risk issues to SMHET or ED. Ring 0800 467 846 and then select 1 for Southland. 

Post-flood there can be an increase in leptospirosis bacteria in floodwaters. Wear protective clothing (eyewear, gloves and boots) if you are coming into contact with floodwater and wash your hands well. Contact your GP early if you have flu-like symptoms.  For more information talk to your doctor, veterinarian or refer to Safer Farms:

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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, Otago, Southland




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