Canterbury rain taking a toll on farms

After three years of dealing with dry weather, Canterbury farmers are in the midst of one of their wettest seasons yet.

It's starting to take a toll on farm production, with the relentless rain tough work for farmers trying to keep their stock in good condition.

Mount Sommers farmer Michael Salverson says it's the wettest he's seen it in 10 years.

"It's been so wet, pastures are getting damaged. But it's also [affecting] the quality of the grass because it's been so wet. All productions [are] down and with it being more wet… there's mud around and the [cattle] trample more and there's knock on effects all the way down."

Canterbury roads are taking a hammering too. Flooding north of Christchurch in the Hurunui District closed two roads.

Leithfield's swollen Kowhai River came close to breaking its banks.

"We had a fairly intense burst," Kushler Tapper from the Hurunui roading team says, "which put things over the edge - the straw that broke the camel's back, you could say."

MetService says in some parts of Canterbury it's the fifth wettest year since record began back in 1943.

Overnight Christchurch townies were woken by a giant thunderstorm cutting power to 3000 Christchurch homes.

Six weeks out from summer and some warm weather can't come fast enough - and that includes for these wet and muddy sheep.


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