Farmers support one another at BBQ

About 20 South Otago farmers met at a secret location in the Catlins last night for a "mood adjustment barbeque".

Cameron Clark, of Papatowai, said it had been a terrible week, with six days of severe storms and heavy stock losses.

Seeing paddocks full of dead lambs was taking its toll on some farmers, and they would not know the full extent of how badly they had been affected until the weather finally cleared, he said.

"It's not the monetary thing that's the worst, it's the death, seeing death every day. There has been no let up."

The barbecue was about catching up with one another and making sure everyone was OK, he said.

Many of the farmers said this had been a good winter, and one farmer said he had been expecting the lambing season to be "an absolute ripper".

"It's been [bad]," Long Point Rd farmer Brent Burgess said.

Most years there were two or three days of bad weather, not a whole week, he said.

"All the energy levels in the stock just drop."

The wind chill factor had been as low as -20degC, and anything born in the wind just died, he said.

He was at the barbecue to talk with other farmers and have a laugh.

Simon Davidson said the hardest part was that no-one knew how much damage had actually been done.

Farmers had not been disturbing their stock for fear of driving them out of their shelter, he said.

Mr Burgess said the rural spirit was in action, and if anyone needed a hand, everyone was there to help.

That's what's kept the sanity of countless people, Mr Clark said.



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