[27 January/ Radio NZ Country]

A livestock agent in Hawkes Bay, Carrfields’ John Kingston, says that farmers in the region are starting to sell stock as they don’t have sufficient food and water for them.  Good spring conditions had been dried out by weeks of wind and has made the environment very dry.  Stock water and feed are both significant issues for farmers, but he noted that strong demand from the South Island had kept store prices at a firm level.  Mr Kingston said the numbers of animals being sold had started to slope off as farmers started to cut into capital stocks and he expressed concern whether farmers that did cut into capital stocks would be able to afford to restock in the autumn if it takes time for conditions to recover.