Lack of feed may force stock sales

Farmers in Hawke's Bay could be forced into early selling of some stock with a feed shortage forecast in areas because of a lack of rain.

This appears most likely in areas south of Havelock North to Omakere, with hillsides noticeably browning since the last significant rain, 20mm about a fortnight ago, in an otherwise dry spring.

Paul Robinson, who manages Kahuranaki Station, south of Havelock North, expects to be selling store lambs soon, with no significant rain expected within the next week.

"We'd normally finish the lambs, but I don't think we'll be doing that this year," he said.

"It is particularly dry out here," he said, adding the area would need at least as much as the 20mm of rain which fell about two weeks ago to change the situation. "It's not good."

But the outlook is brighter for Wallingford farmer Sam Morrah, although he concedes "feed is pretty tight".

"Some guys are saying it's been the worst spring for years," he said.

"I wouldn't say that, there's certainly some green. We just describe it as teetering on the edge."

No rain is forecast for Hawke's Bay before Thursday but rain is forecast for Central Hawke's Bay next weekend.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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