Severe weather takes toll on Northland farmers

Persistent downpours and flooding is taking a toll on farmers in Northland.

Ben Smith is among the Northland farmers fighting the third deluge in as many months.

"Every week is a week closer to a drought. Northland has experienced the extremities of everything in the past 2-3 years," he told ONE News.

"Our planning on infrastructure has been hampered, or not taken place, because of the debt levels of the local economy. The mental stress and physical toll on people is just getting out of hand."

SH10 has re-opened at Kaeo after being flooded, and Mr Smith says stop banks have just stopped overflowing.

But he expects it could take over two months to have land suitable for grazing.

"We're looking at a minimum of a week of pumping to get our property back with water off," Mr Smith says.

"It just depends on how quickly spring arrives. Within a couple of weeks after that we'll be able to put grass in and hopefully graze eight weeks after that."

A dairy farmer says the toll from constant weather extremes is getting out of hand. Source: Breakfast


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