Licked to consciousness by his dog, a North Otago farm contractor spent the next nine hours trapped in a paddock calling for help on Thursday night.

Police were notified just before 11pm on Thursday by the 30-year-old man's partner that he was missing and the farmer in charge of the land where the man was thought to be went searching for him.

The farmer found the man in a "bad condition", next to his dog, about 1.17am yesterday at a Johnstons Rd, Fuchsia Creek, address.

Sergeant Tony Woodbridge, of Oamaru, said while inquiries were ongoing it was believed the man had jumped from his farm vehicle which he had been using for chemical-spraying, when the vehicle rolled down a hill.

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The man had a broken ankle, broken leg and abdominal injuries, Sgt Woodbridge said.

He was taken to Oamaru Hospital and then transferred to Dunedin Hospital.

WorkSafe has been notified.

The vehicle was found, damaged, at the bottom of a cliff.