Supplementary feed prices around the country are going up as fast as the temperatures are coming down – and if it’s a bad winter, things could get even worse.
Heavy snows in the last two weeks have caused logistical nightmares for farmers in the South Island, trapping animals and closing roads – particularly in central parts of Canterbury and Otago.
Federated Farmers Otago spokesperson, Stephen Korteweg, says flooding in many places before the snows was already putting pressure on stock feed supplies heading into winter, and some farmers have already run out of emergency supplies.
“No different to anywhere else, farmers are assessing how much feed they need heading into winter.
“It’s a supply and demand issue really, there’s not a lot of surplus feed around, and those with a bit extra can control the market.”
Stephen Korteweg says this is causing baleage prices to skyrocket, with one quote putting a bale at $135, more than twice the usual cost.
“How much uptake there is at that price will be the telling factor, when push comes to shove they’ll have to buy, and those that are selling are in the box seat.
“There’s no rush for them to sell because they know [other farmers] are going to need it sooner or later.”
Despite these prices, farmers are being encouraged to buy all they can afford now, in case winter turns out to be worse than expected.