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Farming support offers flood in

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/11/2016

A virtual "Farmy Army" is building momentum to help earthquake affected farmers find accommodation, generators, milkers and other manpower.

Federated Farmers says while phone service is patchy and roads are buckled, farmers in quake ravaged North Canterbury don't have to go it alone.

More than 200 calls have been logged on a farming hotline set up since Monday, including offers to transport supplies, as the organisation announced it has reopened its Adverse Events Trust Fund to raise money for the relief effort.

"One person offered a year's worth of grazing for up to 1000 stock units for free," Federated Farmers member services team leader Mirian Baravenboer said.

"Someone else with access to six helicopters asked 'what do you need?'."

Just eight of the calls have come from farmers needing assistance, including one who needed somewhere to store deer velvet after a freezer went out and another who needed water, but Federated Farmers says those who need help shouldn't hesitate to ask.

But while offers of physical support are great, Federated Farmers said cash donations were especially helpful.

"The reality is dollars are going to be required to get these farms back up and running," the group's adverse events trust spokeswoman Katie Milne said.

Money donated to the trust will be spent on immediate emergency support, including emergency supplies, farm equipment, and essential tools and materials.

Federated Farmers said a wage subsidy funding announced by the government on Thursday would also be a huge relief, as it would take the pressure off payrolls if a farm's income is cut.

The "Farmy Army" was first set up after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

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