Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Strains of Waikato drought bite deeper

28 March 2014

Strains of Waikato drought bite deeper

The ongoing strains of the drought conditions in the Waikato and South Auckland are biting deeper, a teleconference of farmer representatives and officials has heard.

“This is the fourth drought for us in six years and the situation is getting emotionally taxing for some farmers,” said Waikato Federated Farmers president James Houghton.

Figures from Waikato Regional Council discussed at yesterday’s teleconference showed rainfall at Ruakura for the three months to March were the second lowest on record, and there are some very significant soil moisture deficits from around the region.

Farmer representatives talked of:
• the drought conditions being similar to 2013
• high stress levels on some farms
• frustration that Cyclone Lusi hadn’t provided the good rainfall hoped
• concern the forecasts show ongoing low rainfall
• some dairy farmers drying off early or going to once a day milking earlier than usual
• some sheep and beef farmers facing significant feed deficits and challenges breeding replacement stock in successive droughts
• availability of supplementary feed tightening up fast

There was also concern about access to stock water in places.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand extension manager Andrew Jolly said: “The drought is a serious concern for sheep and beef farmers in large parts of Waikato and King Country. There are a range of dry management tools and information that have been emailed through to farmers. I urge farmers to use those resources to make the best decisions for their farm.”

The Rural Support Trust reported farmers generally coping OK, without any need for government recovery measures, but that problems could grow if the lack of rainfall continued.

“The trust will be keeping a very close ear to the ground to monitor what’s happening in the rural community so we can step up support as required. It is critical that we get rain to kick-start pasture recovery over autumn before it gets too cold,” said chairman Neil Bateup.

Farmers can contact the Rural Support Trust for confidential advice and support.

At this stage there are no plans for the region to seek a medium-scale adverse event classification from the Government, which would provide for recovery assistance measures, due to the fact that farmers are generally coping and there has been plenty of feed available. However, there is no doubt there is a localised-scale drought under the Government’s Primary Sector Recovery Policy.

Farmer representatives and officials will be staying in regular touch and sharing information so that they can collectively ramp up the region’s response to the drought as required.

Waikato Regional Council resource use group manager Chris McLay said the organization was ready to reconvene the regional drought committee if the situation warranted. “The next few weeks will be a critical time. We need rain to ensure pasture can recover and livestock can be in optimal condition going into winter and next season.”

Mr Houghton stressed to farmers: “You are not alone, talk to your neighbours, consultants, accountants, banks, DairyNZ, Beef+LambNZ. Farmers are resilient and together we will overcome the challenges of the drought.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news