Extreme Weather 

New Zealand Farmers Lose 100,000 Lambs After Brutal Spring Storms

North Island farmers have suffered “devastating” lamb losses over the last two weeks with an estimated 100,000 dead.

It’s been a cruel start to spring for NZ farmers, with the first week delivering well-below-average temperatures, heavy snow and torrential rain.

Patoka Station, Hawke’s Bay owner Ben Crosse said about 750 of his lambs had died, one of the biggest death tolls in his 35 years of farming. He runs some 4000 ewes.

Other sheep farmers he knew had lost 20-30% of their lambs, and dairy farmers also had their share of calf losses.

“Unfortunately the weather pattern just stalled right over us, we received 275 mm ourselves and others received more. Anything born in that period, it was a tough environment for them.”

Further brutal spring storms are forecast for the week ahead.


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