The south has had reasonable weather for lambing and calving.
Even after last weekend’s cold snap there haven’t been reports of many stock losses.
It’s been much tougher in the Central North Island.
“This brutally cold southerly flow couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hawke’s Bay farmers. There’s a massive risk that the combination of snow and cold winds could put stress on newborn livestock,” says Kevin Mitchell, Federated Farmers Hawke’s Bay president.
“Several Hawke’s Bay farmers are in the middle of late lambing and sadly, some newborns may perish in the freezing conditions. The snow has unfortunately hit at a critical time in the farming cycle. Farmers I have spoken to worked through the night in order to save as many lambs as possible.
This unseasonal snow comes after a very dry autumn and in the face of falling prices.
Lambs which would have sold for $90 last summer are expected to fetch only $70 this year. Demand is high and supplies are low, but the high dollar is being blamed for depressing returns to farmers.