[5 October/ Stuff]

Manawatū/Rangītikei Federated Farmers Dairy Chairman Murray Holdaway says farming has been tough in the wet conditions. Farmers say the water table is so full that only a shower would top it up and produce ponding and streams in paddocks. Shearers and contractors are behind where they would usually be, crops and vegetables are late, and rain has decreased moods. Mr Holdaway said the grass is growing, but significant amounts of feed are wasted by cows tramping it into the wet soils. Mr Holdaway added farmers must allocate more grass, or replace the wasted feed with other forms of feed. Lameness and mastitis are also arising due to wet weather. DairyNZ Regional Manager, James Muwunganirwa said the ground was still wet, but ground temperatures had warmed up. However, pasture growth is still below herd demand. Beef + Lamb New Zealand expected overall beef and lamb prices to remain similar to the previous season despite an expected weakening of the dollar.