3 Sep 2008

Farmers cope with heavy West Coast rain

6:31 pm on 3 September 2008

Farmers on the South Island West Coast say they are coping with heavy rain that began on Monday.

However, they have not had anything like the half metre of rain that was predicted earlier this week.

Farmers from Whataroa, north of the glaciers, to Lake Brunner inland from Greymouth have been dealing with steady rain, and heavy falls at times, from Monday night to Wednesday morning.

Pastures are getting a soaking, making calving challenging on some properties.

Whataroa dairy farmer Helen Lash says the rain they've had so far would have caused severe flooding anywhere else, but in the Whataroa area, as soon as the rain stops for half an hour the water drains away quickly.

While there may be some pasture damage, she says most farmers will be pleased the rain is falling now rather than when the entire herd is being milked.

MetService said between 400 - 500mm would fall in both Fiordland and Westland by Thursday.