For information about general help check this flyer:
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.
- Recover any dry baleage for later use.
- If farmers don't want or need it, you could check if your neighbours do.
- Use any water-affected baleage before it is spoiled - feed it out to stock.
- 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 - https://plasback.co.nz/
- As a last resort baleage and/or baleage wrap can be deposited in an on-farm landfill.
There is no immediate environmental risk from the baleage. So there is time for farmers to work towards a solution. The issue is that if baleage is left to rot it will be of no value as a stock feed, may cause objectionable odours, and discharge leachate that would impact on waterways and pasture.
ES is compiling a list of farmers who are not able to manage disposal of baleage without support. Once there is a clear picture of the scale of the problem the intent is to work with farmers and the industry to find solutions. We need to know:
- Farm address
- Contact details for the person in charge
- Number of bales
- Where the bales are located
- Condition of the baleage. Intact or not. Wet or dry?
- Are they in or near a waterway.
- Any other comments regarding difficulties of recovering, using, or disposing of baleage. We want to clearly know what help is needed.
Ensure stock and domestic animals have food, clean water, shelter, and are secure. Flood water is full of silt and can contain other contaminants (including effluent and harmful bacteria).
- Treat all animal injuries promptly and contact your veterinarian early.
- Move vulnerable stock to an area which is more accessible for monitoring, supplementary feed or veterinary treatment.
- If quality feed is short, make early decisions around destocking.
- If feeding supplements, try to introduce similar feeds such as pasture based silage/baleage first.
- 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.
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.
Follow standard practices should you need to dispose of deceased animals. https://www.es.govt.nz/environment/land-and-soil/land-management/offal-hole-management
General farm damage and recovery
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: https://worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/agriculture/working-with-animals/prevention-and-control-of-leptospirosis/