7 Feb 2013

Northland, Waikato and BOP dairy farmers want more rain

7:48 pm on 7 February 2013

Steady rain this week in some regions of the North Island may have brought relief for many sheep and beef farmers who've been struggling to adequately feed their stock, but dairy farmers in Northland, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty say a lot more is needed to boost grass growth.

John Howard milks 215 cows on his 90 hectare farm at Awakere near Whakatane.

He says 20 millimetres of rain on Monday really only settled the dust, and he's down to milking only three times every two days.

Bill Guest who owns several dairy properties south of Dargaville in Northland, says about 13mm of rain this week was the first decent fall for two months and production is variable.

Mr Guest says the biggest headache for dairy farmers will be when to cull their dry cows and sell them before they start losing weight.