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Cropping farmers encouraged to seek support

Cropping farmers encouraged to seek support

Federated Farmers is encouraging farmers to help each other as cropping farmers in Canterbury and North Otago seek respite from a prolonged wet spell which is threatening specialist crops and cereals ahead of harvesting.

“Already sodden fields have been shown no mercy from a succession of passing cyclonic fronts” said Mid-Canterbury President, Chris Allen.

“This will have the same impact on cropping farmers as one metre of snow during lambing would have on sheep farmers, it’s very serious.

“Now into autumn with shorter days and less heat, there will be limited opportunities for farmers to recover their crops. Due to the wet ground conditions, crops aren’t suitable for harvest and when they are, there will be a big demand on resources.

“Late season small seed crops like carrots and radish have been particularly affected with significant areas still waiting for a break in the weather. Seed crops are a big part of the industry with export growth of 14 per cent in 2013. New Zealand growers now provide more than 50 per cent of the world’s supply of carrot, radish and beet seeds annually.

“Many cropping farmers work individually, and are generally self reliant. Federated Farmers advises all farmers with cropping expertise and resources to act as good neighbours by offering support or services directly to help those who are struggling against the elements.

“I encourage all farmers in Canterbury and North Otago to offer assistance and not to sit back and wait to be asked. Time is of the essence to limit the impact of production losses.

“This includes picking up the phone or making yourself known to a neighbour to offer spare harvesting or drying equipment, or just some advice. It could make all the difference to morale and help those farmers get through a stressful time.

“We can’t change the weather but we are keeping a watchful eye on the situation,” concluded Mr Allen.


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