15 Oct 2013

Winds hammer Featherston farmers

1:52 pm on 15 October 2013

Farmers have begun picking up the pieces as the ferocious winds that have battered much of the country head north.

Power outages disrupted milking in parts of both islands while the wind added to last month's destruction in Canterbury, toppling a lot more trees and damaging irrigation structures again.

Southern Wairarapa was one of the North Island areas that was hit hard this time around.

Carterton dairy farmer and Federated Farmers representative Chris Engel says Monday's wind and rain have taken their toll.

"The winds have done a tremendous amount of damage down there, the power's been off and a roof off a barn," he says.

"One of the chaps has got a bus on the middle of his paddock that was blown off the highway and taken a lot of fence on his boundary out."

He says trees have also been felled by the winds.

Federated Farmers Wairarapa president Jamie Falloon says this spring has been a season of extreme contrasts: wild wind storms interspersed with some of the best spring weather farmers can remember.

"It's really been a spring out of the box, it's as good as anyone can remember in living memory about how well we've recovered."

He says looking back to March when the region was in drought, such a spring was beyond his wildest dreams.