Challenging times on the farm?

When circumstances beyond your control - climatic, financial, environmental or personal - threaten to get on top of you, the Manawatu-Rangitikei Rural Support Trust is ready to help.

Our services are free and all calls are confidential.

The Manawatu-Rangitikei Rural Support Trust is part of a nationwide network of Rural Support Trusts that can assist farming and rural families and their communities.

The Trust has access to networks, services, and government funding following an adverse event to help you get back on your feet.

Our members are rural people who have faced the challenges that rural life brings. Free and confidential help is available through the Trust's coordinator, and contact is one-on-one at a place that suits you.

News & Alerts

Cleaning up after ex-Cyclone Gita

Suggestions for rural communities

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

After a flood or storm

* Continue to listen to your local radio station for civil defence instructions.

* Help others if you can, especially people who may require special assistance.

* Throw away food and water that has been contaminated by floodwater.

* Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated. 

* If a boil water notice is in place, follow steps to sterilize dairy cleaning equipment

* Ensure stock and domestic animals have food, water, and shelter where necessary, and are secure. Ensure that all stock injuries are promptly attended too, after human needs are meet.

* Look for and report broken utility lines. Treat all lines as live.

* If your property is damaged, take notes and photographs for insurance purposes. 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.

* Use the resources available. Contact local council civil defence flood relief co-ordinator, industry groups, Federated Farmers, Rural Support Trusts, Rural Women NZ, or other resource providers. 

* Please accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.

Dairy NZ advice for farmers without power:

  • Cows can go several days without being milked provided they are well fed and watered
  • When power returns, ensure cows are milked out completely
  • For further advice;

Useful sites and numbers:

* Civil Defence website

* Your local Rural Support Trust to update your information or ask for help for you, a partner, family member, worker or neighbour: 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254)

*Animal welfare

*Federated Farmers Feedline

* Your local council website and facebook page


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Preparing for Gita

Monday, February 19, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

Forecasting weather is a tricky one. Luckily we have Chris Brandelino from NIWA updating New Zealand on what to expect as of this morning: 

So now's the time to prepare:


Before a flood or storm

* Find out from your local council, neighbours, etc, if your property is at risk from flooding and plan accordingly

* Check your insurance cover details

* Fill vehicles’ tanks

* Have a smartphone you can charge in the car

* Store bailage/hay in areas not prone to flooding

* Ensure trees posing a hazard are trimmed (over houses, sheds, boundary fences)

* Store anything that is likely to be blown around, or tie down bigger items like trampolines

* Have a plan and trigger points to make decisions without waiting for official advice.

* Move animals, equipment and feed to higher ground.

* If you have a generator, make sure it’s accessible and ready to go.

*Clear drains and gutters

*Clear debris from waterways

* Have a household emergency kit including food, water, clothing, first aid, torch, cash, and a battery-powered radio


During a flood or storm

* The safety of you, your family, and your workers comes first.

* Listen to your local radio stations for official updates.

* Ensure stock have safety, shelter and water, and can't wander. Are electric fences working?

* Unplug small appliances to avoid damage from power surges. Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to help prevent damage.

* Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless it is absolutely essential.

* Treat all lines as live. Check power and phones and report outages.

* Check dogs, poultry and pets.

* Check on neighbours - do they need help or can they help you?

* Check buildings at risk, secure feed stacks.

* Use generators if necessary to keep pumps, refrigeration, electric fences and household appliances running. Flood pumps may need attention.


Useful sites and numbers:

* Civil Defence website

* Your local Rural Support Trust to update your information or ask for help 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254)

* Your local council website and facebook page

*Animal welfare  

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Drought tax relief measures

Tax relief and support measures extended to farmers in medium-scale drought areas

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson


Detail of what may be available can be found on the Work and Income drought page: including Rural Assistance Payments.

Please share this information and encourage farmers in affected areas to talk to their accountants and advisors.

Share with your rural professional contacts so they are aware of the current challenges due to poor spring and dry early summer. Farmers and families may benefit from help revising their budgets. Some who are badly affected - particularly lower-order sharemilkers and contract milkers - may be eligible for entitlements such as Working for Families so your help to make their accountants / advisors aware is appreciated.

Your local Rural Support Trust is available and Federated Farmers' Feedline is open to both memb ers and non-members:

MPI, DairyNZ and B+L NZ also have good information for getting through droughts and dry weather.

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Protecting your farm from Mycoplasma bovis in drought-affected areas

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

With a number of farms in drought-affected areas, there is concern about the movement of animals for grazing or getting in supplementary feed from other regions.

The pdf has advice for keeping your farm safe. More infomrmation is available on MPI's website


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