Tips from farmers for winter storms

June 2019

Published on Monday, June 17, 2019

Before snow hits

  • Keep an eye on climate predictions and talk to your neighbours.
  • Plan how you will deal with no power (no electric fences, pumps, milking, refrigeration, hot water, cook or heating). If necessary, source a generator.
  • Stockpile what you might need for home and farm to minimise travel:
    • Surplus feed
    • Generators
    • Food and alternative means of cooking and heating for your home
    • Emergency kit.
  • Have a battery-powered radio.
  • Have a smartphone, and know how to use it and how to charge it up in the car
  • If you need to travel any distance, make sure you are well-equipped for the cold and let someone know where you are and when to expect you back.
  • Have a flexible feed plan underway for stock.
  • If you know it’s coming, move stock to sheltered paddocks, especially young stock, to reduce exposure.
  • Make sure stock can access food and water, and you can access them.

 

Useful information from:

Beef + Lamb NZ https://beeflambnz.com/knowledge-hub/PDF/snow-guidelines

Dairy NZ https://www.dairynz.co.nz/business/adverse-events/heavy-snow/

MPI: Animals in snowstorms https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/30639-animals-affected-by-a-snowstorm-advice-for-livestock-lifestyle-block-horse-and-pet-owners

During snow or ice storms

  • Look after the safety of your family, workers and yourself.
    • If you go out, wear several layers and keep dry and moving to prevent loss of body heat.
    • Let people know where you are going and what time you'll be back.
    • Be aware of snow risks including black ice, and clumps of snow or ice falling off buildings.
    • Make sure stock can't wander in power outage.
  • Check power and phones. Report outages if possible. Check neighbours - is it just your power/phone?
  • Talk to your neighbours and advisors as the situation evolves.
  • The biggest risk to stock is access to water. Make sure they are able to get to troughs and break ice on troughs.
  • Monitor the local radio and your council, NZTA, CDEM webpages for news and information.

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