17 Sep 2014

Experts meet to discuss swede deaths

5:07 pm on 17 September 2014

Dairy NZ says Southland farmers are not likely to know what is causing a mystery illness in cows fed on swedes before planting needs to get underway for next year's crop.

dairy cows

An expert group considering the deaths is expected to provide advice to farmers over the next week. Photo: PHOTO NZ

About 300 cows became sick after eating swedes, with more than 200 dying and others having to be put down.

An expert group, including vets, a pathologist and representatives from Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ, met today to discuss the issue.

Dairy NZ's Southland regional leader Richard Kyte said they were putting together advice for farmers on how to manage the current issues, and plan ahead for next year.

"We have got the problem as in, looking ahead, what do we know and what advice can we give? Because there are theories out there but the science takes a lot of working through and it's actually going to take longer to work that out than the time we've got before farmers start replanting."

Mr Kyte said the group will issue advice to farmers over the next week.

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