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South to North Forage Movement Encounters Difficulties

28 March 2013

NEW ZEALAND – Hauliers are encountering logistical difficulties in delivering much needed forage to the north island, following a three month dry spell.

North island pastures are drying out and herds have been dried off early. Yields have fallen 20-30 per cent below of that expected for the time of year with the dairying stronghold region of Waikato being particularly hard hit.

However, despite the necessity of the deliveries difficulties are being encountered with shipments waiting to be picked up and paid for.

“This is a really tough time for drought affected farmers. Federated Farmers wants to help where we can and have been working very hard to do so,” said FFNZ President, Bruce Wills. “There are limits to what even Federated Farmers can do as we are not a transport operator, feed merchant, bank or rural trader. For a shipment of this, far-larger scale, we needed signed contracts from farmers and/or a third party to mitigate risks if farmers didn’t pay.”

“With the entire North Island drought declared, feed is required from the South Island. While commercial operators are selling feed from the South to the North, it has become apparent that there is a constraint with transport capacity.

But concerted efforts are being made to move feed to livestock.

Approximately 70,000 small bales (or equivalents) are to be shipped to needy producers in an emergency forage exercise organised by Federated Farmers of New Zealand (FFNZ).

So far, Federated Farmers, together with road transport operators, Pacifica Shipping and Hamburg Süd have completed the following shipments totalling 2,320 twenty-bale equivalents:

  • One small shipment from Timaru to Napier
  • 23 containers from Lyttelton to Tauranga
  • 30 containers from Lyttelton to Napier, which arrived in Napier this week
  • 20 containers from Lyttelton to Tauranga being loaded today.

Over the next fortnight, a further 50 containers will have been shipped north- equalling 3,5250 twenty bales equivalents, NNFZ has said.

Mr Wills concluded that Federated Farmers will continue to work on another big shipment and we will advise of more detail when we possible.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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