Last week’s rain caused major issues for East Coast farmers and forced the postponement of both the Matawhero and Wairoa weaner fairs.
More than 4000 calves were set to go under the hammer at Matawhero and Wairoa this week, until the heavens opened.
Last week’s rain caused major issues for East Coast farmers and forced the postponement of both the Matawhero and Wairoa weaner fairs, which are some of the biggest events on both these sale yards calendars.
The decision to postpone was not made lightly, but it was fortunate that the call was made early, as additional heavy rain on Monday night caused more slips and creek and river levels to rise again.
PGG Wrightson regional manager Jamie Hayward said it was the right call to make.
“We have been working closely with Civil Defence and for everyone’s sake it was the safest way forward,” Hayward said.
“We want to get the calves sold but want to do so to ensure all parties involved are looked after.
“There is a lot of damage around Wairoa and further up – both on the public roads and on-farm – and we want to make sure everyone can safely get their calves to auction, and that would not have been the case this week had the fairs gone ahead.
“From the perspective of buyers, outsiders may not have been able to get to the fairs and then the job of getting the calves to new homes would have been a challenge.
“Local buyers also play a big role in the fairs and they need the time to sort things out at home. It was a big call to make but it was the right one.”
Looking ahead, Hayward said they are working closely with Civil Defence and there are plans in place.
“Our intention at the moment is to hold the Wairoa weaner fair on Thursday, April 7,” he said.
“We are in consultation with Civil Defence on working towards holding the Matawhero fair and hope to have more clarity on that by the end of the week.” Fairs and calf sales were also cancelled at Feilding and Canterbury Park, though those cancellations were due to a lack of numbers entered as feed levels allow farmers more flexibility around weaning.