NEW ZEALAND – Sharemilkers On The Move – May 31, 2011

NEW ZEALAND – Tens of thousands of dairy cattle are on the move as sharemilkers move to new farms with their stock. Federated Farmers is asking for drivers to be aware of these stock movements on rural roads.

“Sharemilkers will be very pleased with some of the best weather conditions for a ‘Gypsy Day’ I can remember,” says Ciarán Tully, Federated Farmers sharemilkers chairperson.

“Starting today and running into tomorrow, dairy cattle stock will either be travelling by truck while others will be walking to their new farms. It’s not called gypsy day for nothing as it also involves moving the whole household too”.

“We’re asking people driving in rural areas to be aware that there may be a larger than usual number of stock on the road or in stock trucks. If you encounter stock on the road then please be patient and please do not honk your horn as that will startle stock”.

“To reduce effluent spillage, we’ve recommended that stock are kept off green feed for a minimum of four-eight hours before they are moved. Meanwhile, trucking companies have their own set of rules. They are required to have effluent holding tanks which are emptied regularly at designated dumping areas to prevent spillage onto roads”.

“Federated Farmers has advised sharemilkers to cover off the terms of their contract, such as leaving the house available for inspection and ensuring that adequate feed is left on-farm”.

“This includes ensuring that all stock are fit for travel, like being able to bear weight on all four limbs and in good condition to withstand the rigours of transport”.

“If cows are to be walked to their new farm, we’ve asked our members to check with their council to see if a permit is needed. It is also an area we need the assistance of drivers with because we want gypsy day to go without incident”.

“It’s also worth checking with other farmers to coordinate movements to prevent herds from getting mixed up”.

“Sharemilkers also need to ensure that if they are going onto a Fonterra shareholder’s farm, they have discussed the milk price/dividend payment structure with the shareholder”.

“Federated Farmers wishes all sharemilkers a safe journey,” Mr Tully concluded.

Information TheCattleSite News Desk

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