Farmers mop up after snowfalls
Canterbury’s high country farmers remained stoic throughout the southerly snarler that hit the country.
Tim Hutchinson of Double Hill Station in the upper Rakaia Valley said the 25 centimetres of snow which landed last week was just an ‘‘average’’ snowfall for him.
‘‘It wasn’t a problem as we had plenty of warning,’’ he said. ‘‘Most people are in winter mode now, feeding out. We just feed out in the tractor tyre tracks and the stock cope fine. The weather is beautiful and clear now.’’
Sue Aubrey of Ben McLeod Station in the Rangitata Gorge said the snow had been ‘‘manageable.’’
‘‘We’ve had thirteen centimetres. Snow was falling, but a lot of it didn’t settle. I don’t think this area has been hit as hard as the Fairlie Basin. So we are well under control throughout the whole gully, and the sun is out. Farming wise everything is under control.’’
Will Murray at Glenmore Station, one of the highest properties in the Mackenzie Basin, had been up since 5 am on Friday feeding out so that he could take his family skiing for the day. ’’This initial snow we got three weeks ago is still around. This last storm only dropped a couple of inches, and most of that thawed over the past few days. It’s the first snow that is still getting in the way. But it will go ... everything is under control. It’s what you expect at this time of the year.’’
Kirsty Williamson of Glenbrook Station close to Twizel said they had seen little snow. ’’Not much fell, and it is pretty clear here now. There was possibly more at Lake Tekapo. I know they had snow up there a few weeks ago and it froze, and then they got more snow on top of that.’’
Richard Subtil of Omarama Station said the property had seen little snow. ’’We are pretty right, to be honest. There are no worries with stock. We have s... loads of silage and lots of green feed behind wire.’’
Barbara Boyd of Haldon Station in the east Mackenzie Country said they were one of the properties at a lower elevation in the area and had not seen much snow. ’’There were about six inches [15cm] on top of Mackenzie Pass on Tuesday, and I know Burkes Pass has been closed. Haldon and Black Forest are the lowest on the Hawdon Road and when we drive up the road the snow usually starts at Streamlands and gets thicker towards Grampians,’’ she said
Manager of Flock Hill Station in the Castle Hill Basin Richard Hill said about ‘‘a foot’’ or 30cm of snow had fallen, but it was disappearing. ‘‘It’s the first reasonable snowfall in a couple of years for us, but it wasn’t a biggy.’’
Snow storms and feeding out are all part of the winter routine for high country farmers.