Mid Canterbury farmers are on standby to take dairy cows from quake-affected North Canterbury dairy farmers.

Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy spokesman Nathan Currie said communication was the biggest problem and knowing what was needed.

"I have plenty of farmers that can take cows to alleviate issues they might have. The next thing is transport and working out the logistics of getting stock out due to road closures.

"We have trucks on standby and people on standby."


Currie said he had heard of rotary platforms being knocked off their rollers by the quake, so milking sheds would be out of action.

Cows can go several days without milking before welfare issues arise.

He said Mid Canterbury farmers had people ready to travel to North Canterbury to help rebuild sheds and do other work as needed.

In the meantime, dairy service businesses would be on the ground as quickly as possible getting sheds up and running again.

Currie said the service industry had learned a lot since the quakes in Canterbury in 2010, when his own platform was knocked off its rollers at Dunsandel.

"The Canterbury back-up on the service side is very, very good and every efficient. I am pretty confident if we can get them in there they will gets sheds running again quickly."

Several dairy sheds near Culverden have been damaged by yesterday's quake, leaving farmers unable to milk their cows.

Sam Smith, who lives on a dairy farm at Culverden, said he'd been lucky to have little damage at his house or farm, but knew of several others with significant damage.


"A lot of platforms that cows stand on have been smashed so [farmers] can't milk their cows which is a massive problem. Their sheds are just about condemned."

Smith has a friend on a farm at Waiau whose house and dairy sheds were wrecked.

"They're absolutely totaled. There's liquefaction everywhere as well which is kind of crazy."

Smith still hasn't been able to get in touch with his grandparents who lived at Kaikoura.