21 May 2013

Winter feed patchy in Southland

7:18 am on 21 May 2013

Southland farmers are being strongly advised to check their winter feed supply after a topsy-turvy growing season that's significantly reduced pasture and crop production in some areas.

Southland did not officially fall into drought but after a great start to summer, conditions dried off rapidly, forcing the regional council to trigger water use restrictions on some rivers.

The Southland Rural Support Trust has been monitoring feed conditions.

Trust chairman Lindsay Wright says it's clear farmers in some areas are looking at a feed shortage.

"It looks like the grass is around 200 to 300 kilos per hectare down on what would normally be expected."

He says in some areas the pasture is a half to two thirds of what would be expected, and the situation varies throughout the province.

Mr Wright says farmers need to do a feed budget and arrange extra feed or reduce stock if they think they are going to run short.