Home' Central Canterbury News : March 27th 2013 Contents 3
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Weeds a risk of hay transfer
Help on the way: Hay being loaded
onto Chatham Island Shipping's
vessel Baldur to be taken north for
IN TIMES of severe drought hay
has to be shuttled around the
country but with that comes
Southland farmers aren't
sending hay north to support
drought-ravaged farms -- and they
would only accept North Island
hay if they were desperate'' for
Truckloads of Canterbury hay
have been sent to farmers in the
North Island to underfed livestock
in the drought-affected north.
While transport costs and dry
conditions meant Southland
farmers had shown no interest in
sending hay north, industry
leaders said if the situation were
reversed farmers would need to be
vigilant about hay coming to
Southland. They did not want
unwanted weeds in the hay to
spread through the region.
Southland Federated Farmers
president Russell MacPherson
said farmers needed to be vigilant
all the time when importing from
outside the province.
When asked if Southland
farmers would accept hay from
the North Island, Mr MacPherson
said: It depends how desperate
you are. There's always an
ongoing issue with pest plants. It
always has potential to spread it.''
biosecurity manager Richard
Bowman said the spread of weeds
in hay was certainly an issue that
the authority recognised and it
was a case of buyer beware''.
We are very keen not to bring
new weeds into Southland.
Sometimes in the case of
emergency and disaster these
rules tend to be forgotten,'' he
Federated Farmers Waikato
president James Houghton said
regional councils needed a shake-
up'' and had to clearly
communicate to farmers the
potential risk of spreading weeds.
We had some nasties turn out
from Northland in the 2008
drought. We need to be wary...
We're not visually inspecting the
product before it comes,'' he said.
A Waikato Regional Council
spokeswoman said farmers were
reminded to check stock food for
weeds and be wary of importing
feed from unknown sources after
an outbreak of alligator weed. The
alligator weed was discovered
during a routine inspection by
council and appears to have been
A Horizons Regional Council
spokesperson said there were no
mechanisms in place to monitor
weeds in the hay from
It was a bit like finding a
needle in a hay stack.''
However, the council would
immediately assist farmers who
thought they had found something
of concern, she said. FairfaxNZ
More lambs sent to be slaughtered
By TERRI RUSSELL Dry spell keeps meatworkers busy
in the North Island are trucking
thousands of lambs south to be
killed every week, resulting in a
bonus for Southland's
Southland meat companies are
running at full capacity as supply
is boosted by the drought in the
South Island farmers are
buying more than 20,000 store
lambs from drought-stricken
North Island farms each week to
fatten them and sell them to local
Store lambs are those that need
to have more weight put on them
before they can be sold to the meat
companies; often caused because
of a lack of grass.
As well as the lambs from the
north, meat companies are
processing lambs that would
normally have been processed last
November and December, but
were held due to unfavourable
weather conditions for lamb
Alliance Group general
manager of livestock Murray
Behrent said more than 20,000
store lambs had come to the South
Island from the north each week
since January and all its meat
plants were running at maximum
level. It was very unusual for
Southland farmers to buy store
lambs from as far away as the
North Island, Mr Behrent said.
The Alliance Group was giving
staff an extra hour each shift or a
Saturday shift at all plants, with
the Lorneville plant near
Invercargill running both
extended and extra shifts for the
first time in about five years, he
Meat Workers' Union general
secretary Gary Davis said workers
at all meat processing plants
south of Oamaru were doing
extended and extra shifts, which
was a positive for the staff after a
pretty disastrous'' last couple of
Southland Chamber of
Commerce chief executive Richard
Hay said it was good news for
employment and Southland's
Meat companies would be able
to meet an increase in export
orders and leftover product could
be saved for later in the year, he
Beef + Lamb southern South
Island director Leon Black
confirmed the drought had caused
a rush period'' at processing
But he warned a massive lag''
was expected in coming months
when there was potential for
lower meat stocks and a lack of
fresh lamb for markets.
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