Door-to-door farm visits welcomed as floodwaters recede and costs become clearer

Published on Monday, April 24, 2017

Door-to-door farm visits welcomed as floodwaters recede and costs become clearer

Teams from the local Rural Support Trust and Red Cross have been documenting destroyed pastures, damaged homes and inundated orchards, as they carry out assessment visits to flood-affected farms and orchards in the Bay of Plenty.

“Our farming and growing families have been very stoic in getting through the flooding, and now our visit is a chance for them to sit down, have a cup of tea, and see what they need to move forwards with recovery,” says Igor Gerritson from the Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust.

“What’s immediately clear is the extra cost associated with the evacuations of about 5000 cows, and the pressing need to buy feed for stock whose grazing is destroyed by floodwaters. The cost of transporting stock out alone is estimated to be $75,000 in the first week of the event.”

The Rural Support Trust has set up a bank account 06 0489 00160308 04 specifically for donations to help rural flood victims cover some costs associated with the flood damage.

The coordinated visits, planned through the Civil Defence Emergency Management group, are to streamline information gathering and reduce the number of different agencies and visitors who go to each affected property. The teams will do a detailed needs assessment and then pass each farmer or grower to the right agencies to progress their needs.

“Once you get off the beaten track, you really get to see the severity of farm damage.  Water races and fences have been washed away or covered with silt and debris, pasture and crops are hard to recognise after days underwater, and with the second storm there are dozens of trees down too,” says Igor. “Some farmhouses have been badly damaged by the water, with gib pulled off the internal walls.” 

Five teams are visiting across the region, and expect it will take just over two weeks to get through them all. Other teams will then move into more urban areas as people there get back home and have a chance to take stock of their situations.

More than 5000 dairy cows are estimated to have been evacuated and are now being returned to their farms where possible, and Dairy NZ is offering farm management advice, assistance with feed plans and surveying for animal welfare problems. NZKGI is providing support to growers who suffered flooding at a critical time of the year, and has been helping get water pumped out of orchards.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has been coordinating rural response and recovery efforts and working on getting information out to people in the affected areas.

“As we move from response to recovery phases, we are working closely with rural recovery stakeholders to agree what recovery structure they would like to put in place to support them as they move forwards,” says MPI Director Resource Policy, Kate Hellstrom.

Federated Farmers’ 0800 FARMING line continues to be the central point for farmers seeking on-farm assistance or feed. The Rural Support Trust (0800 RURAL HELP) has trained facilitators who can help rural people with other needs including stress management and where to go for further information.

--ends—

For more information please contact:

Sandy Scarrow

Chairperson, Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust

SandyScarrow@fruition.net.nz

(027) 4425436

http://www.rural-support.org.nz/Regions/North-Island/Bay-of-Plenty

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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, Bay of Plenty

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News & Alerts

Updates from MPI on M. Bovis

As at 4 September 2017

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

In July 2017, MPI detected the bacterial infection Mycoplasma bovis in cattle at a South Canterbury dairy farm. Regular updates are here: www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/mycoplasma-bovis/

Key contacts

Questions for MPI – 0800 00 83 33 or Email: MBovis2017_Liaison@mpi.govt.nz
Oamaru welfare contact – 027 447 4610 or Email: mbwellbeing@asurequality.com
Rural Support trust – 0800 787 254
Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline – 0800 80 99 66
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Flooding in rural Otago and Canterbury

as at 15 September 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

Useful contacts for rural people affected by flooding:

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Farmers joining shave-free for calving Rural Support Trust fundraiser

Donations will go to every RST nationwide through the new National Council

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

“When your first calf of the season is born -you have a good, close, shave, then hang up your razor. When the final cow calves, THEN you can get that beard off.”

This is shave-free for calving, the fundraiser launched by Marlborough farmer Lyndon Campbell last year.

“In 2016 we raised nearly $3000 for the Top of the South Rural Support Trust, and we are very proud of that,” says Lyndon. “However we feel there is much room to grow by getting more farmers involved.”

This year he’s going national and is calling farmers from all over New Zealand to get hairy and scratchy along with him (the blokes, at least): https://www.facebook.com/shavefreecalving/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

 

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Myrtle Rust

Kerikeri myrtle rust response –Daily update 11 May 2017

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Author: Julie Jonker

No significant news to report today.

Ground teams in Kerikeri have completed inspections of the areas extending 500m out from the two confirmed positive sites.

The situation remains that there are still just two known infected properties. The initial nursery in Kerikeri where the myrtle rust incursion was first detected and a neighbouring residential garden.

All other suspected finds that were sampled have tested negative for myrtle rust. This includes a sample from a nursery in south Auckland.

Today field personnel have partnered with local iwi to mount intensive inspections of coastal areas close to Kerikeri for signs of the fungal disease.

The public message remains - if you believe you have seen signs of myrtle rust - DO NOT TOUCH IT or the plant - take a photo of the rust and the plant. Call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

Full information is at www.mpi.govt.nz/myrtlerust.

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