Tasman fire: Hay convoy en-route to Nelson farmers

An eight-strong convoy of trucks with donated feed for farmers affected by the Tasman fires is set to leave Canterbury on Friday.

Some farms have been badly damaged by the blaze, and left without feed or grazing for stock.

Much of the feed is coming from the Canterbury area and includes a convoy of eight truck and trailer units loaded with hay bales.

The 'Nelson Fires Hay Convoy' has been organised by Geraldine woman Paule Crawford after a conversation with friend who had been evacuated.

"It's been a good growing season in mid and south Canterbury and we have a lot of excess feed," she said.

"I have some friends who are baling contractors and my own baling contracter, so I rang them and told them the situation," said Ms Crawford.

She said she had been overwhelmed with the response.

"I was thinking a truckload, but it has just snowballed."

She said everyone, from transporters and baling contractors to local farmers and lifestylers, has been involved.

The trucks will be loaded from a Christchurch depot on Thursday night and the convoy is expected to leave for Nelson on Friday morning.

Eight truck and trailer units of hay bales are heading to Nelson.
Eight truck and trailer units of hay bales are heading to Nelson. Photo credit: Nelson Fires Hay Convoy Facebook

Meanwhile Federated Farmers has opened its Feedline which co-ordinates donations of extra feed or grazing for animals. 

Adverse events spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said they are helping farmers who have had land damaged by the fire.

"At the moment it is feed and grazing, but when everything has settled down it may be repairs to farms," he said.

"A number of farms have had paddocks burnt off, which means their standing feed has gone, although it was already pretty dry," said Mr Hoggard.

He said some farmers had moved stock to other areas, putting presure on those people who are providing feed and grazing.

Some of the farmers offering help were those who have been supported in the past.

"A Kaikoura farmer who had been affected by the Kaikoura earthquake and recieved help, was keen to donate feed. It said it was time to re-pay the help he received."

Farmers who are short of feed, or who have feed to donate, can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646.