Waikato farmers and contractors are worried about stock feed supplies, with shortages potentially adding to farmer and consumer costs. While grass cover on Waikato dairy farms is said to be good the excessive rain in recent months has really affected maize production. The impact of low maize production could cause feed shortages later in summer, push up costs and lead to animal welfare problems. Rural Contractors NZ president Helen Slattery says North Waikato in particular had been affected by the deluges hitting the north, while there had also been problems in Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki due to wet weather. Rural Contractors NZ chief executive Andrew Olsen is already discussing with Federated Farmers nationally the potential need to bring in stock feed to affected areas from other regions. Maize harvesting was currently down about 30% on normal in parts of Waikato, Northland and Bay of Plenty.
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