Northern Advocate, Feb 11, 2014 By Mike Barrington
Drought is back in Kaipara, with some farms worse than they were in the dry summer a year ago.
Farmers of New Zealand operations director Bill Guest said while the rest of the country appeared to be doing well, Kaipara dairy farmers were drying off cows.
“One farmer here has dried off 600 of his 700 cows and is feeding them all 30 tonnes of palm kernel every five days.
“That’s costing him over $70,000 a month,” he said.
“The season is over on quite a few west coast dairy farms.”
Along with the weather, some farmers were struggling with high debt levels, rates and on-farm costs, Mr Guest said.
About 15 Kaipara farms with big debts had “gone down the gurgler” and up to 30 other farms around Northland faced a similar fate.