Irrigation New Zealand is to ask the Government to issue temporary work visas to specialist irrigation installers to repair damage to irrigators in Canterbury caused by Tuesday night's storm.
The organisation says farmers have reported damage to 800 irrigators - some of them requiring total replacement.
Chief executive Andrew Curtis said the irrigation season is rapidly approaching at the end of September.
Irrigation companies have already got suppliers redirecting equipment to New Zealand, but highly specialist knowledge is needed to repair the damage.
Mr Curtis said pressure to get the repairs complete will intensify if the area has a hot, dry spring, delaying pasture growth.