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NZ Drought Leads to Cattle Shortage

09 July 2008

NEW ZEALAND - It never rains but it pours for Wairarapa farmers, who face the likely problem next spring of too few cows and too much grass.

Beef cattle especially have been leaving Wairarapa in record numbers since early summer, and Williams and Kettle livestock manager Chris McBride said yesterday the region could be "short of mouths" to tackle new grass growth in spring, reports Wairarapa Times.

"If we get a reasonably kind winter and a decent spring we're going to be short of cattle here," he told the news agency.

"They'll cut the grass and sell it to dairy farms or farms wintering dairy cows, or cut it and store it & but there is a lot of country that you can't get a machine on to.

According to Wairarapa Times, the shortage of beef cattle is a result of farmers selling stock to cope with drought conditions, and Mr McBride said the region has been left short of animals.

"All the cattle that have been sold out of Wairarapa have gone somewhere, and a lot of them went to north Auckland," Mr McBride said, "so chances are the stock will have to come from a fair way away.

  • View the Wairarapa Times story by clicking here.
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