Farm­ers mop up af­ter snow­falls

The Southland Times - - WEATHER - PAT DEAVOLL

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.’’

PHOTO: GE­ORGE EMPSON

Snow storms and feed­ing out are all part of the win­ter rou­tine for high coun­try farm­ers.

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