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Rain Rain Go Away

9 February 2004

PR 021/04

Rain Rain Go Away

The rain that broke the summer dry is good news for pastoral farmers, but bad news for cropping farmers says Andrew Gillanders, Vice Chairman of the Grains Council of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

The Canterbury region produces 80% of New Zealand's arable crops and has had three weeks of damp humid weather causing mature cereal crops to sprout. Grass seed crops cut for harvesting before the rains are also seriously affected.

"Most Canterbury crops are grown under irrigation so dry spells are able to be managed. More difficult is the damp humid weather which means crops cannot be harvested and are left to stand and mature in the field. The grain in the head of the plant begins to grow, affecting its physical characteristics and likely to be downgraded in the market.

"Arable farmers are concerned that the longer this damp humid weather lasts the greater the potential for downgrading crops.

"Arable farmers have their fingers crossed for hot dry weather to get the harvesters going and the crops in the silos," said Mr Gillanders.

ENDS


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