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Damage remains for farmers

A large slip along Te Parae Rd, near Masterton, closed the road on Thursday. PHOTO/FILE

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Most farmers will be doing it “pretty tough” after the devastation caused by last week’s adverse weather, Federated Farmers Wairarapa president William Beetham said.

Wairarapa was drenched with persistent rain, causing flooding of roads and slips, which made lambing and calving difficult for farmers.

With the sunny weather expected for this week, farmers will be out assessing damage and stock losses, he said.

“Often, at times like this, farmers feel like they are the only ones in the situation, but they’re not,” Beetham said.

Beetham said he had already heard of some terrible lamb losses and wanted farmers to know where they could turn to for support.

Wairarapa DHB communications manager Anna Cardno said every season brought new challenges.

“Even the most robust rural stalwarts take on the pressing burden of winter worries, and sometimes, that burden can be too heavy for just one person to carry,” she said.

Cardno said having a sense of control and maintaining confidence through the severe weather events can take its toll during the day-to-day rural life.

Last week’s weather was driven by one weather pattern which was slowly clearing, NIWA forecaster Ben Noll said.

Since the start of the month, Masterton recorded 44mm of rain, Martinborough 55mm, and Castlepoint 66mm.

Castlepoint had already recorded beyond its monthly rainfall average of 58mm, Noll said.

While soil moisture levels across the region were “saturated”, this week was looking to be dry with chilly mornings, he said.

“The worst of it is definitely behind us,” he said.

If families or neighbours were struggling, they should get in touch with rural support groups, Beetham said.

If you are unable to talk to your doctor and need urgent help, call Te Haika, 24/7 mental health centre on 0800 745 477.

Support contacts:

East Coast Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254 and farmstrong.co.nz.

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