RotoRainer irrigators hit worst

Strong winds have again damaged irrigators in Canterbury, but not to the same extent as last year.

Lucas Cawte, assistant manager at Rainer Irrigation Ltd in Ashburton, said the company was dealing with more than 70 damaged RotoRainers.

''It hasn't been as bad as last year by a long shot, but the RotoRainers felt the full blast,'' he said.

Damage to pivots was more isolated and relatively minor. It was mainly end arms and overhangs which had been damaged.

Mr Cawte said farmers were certainly more proactive in trying to protect their irrigators from strong winds, since last year's extensive damage.

''Everyone pricks up their ears at the mention of wind now, but they may not have the means of anchoring them. They're not easy to shift, especially in the dark.''

The company was well prepared to deal with repairs, having learnt from last year, he said.

''Last year helped us prepare for this year. We have plenty of pipes in stock as we make them all in-house and we have plenty of staff on hand.''

The six teams working on repairs expected to be finished in a couple of weeks, Mr Cawte said.

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