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Cyclone Lusi: all blustery and no rain substance

17 March 2014

Cyclone Lusi: all blustery and no rain substance

Farmers in need of autumnal rain are disappointed that Cyclone Lusi has failed to deliver the rain goods. Despite being in a de facto state of drought there are no plans to call for an adverse events declaration.

“Farmers are between the devil and the deep blue sea because even if a declaration is sought, it is more psychological solace than practical,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers Adverse Events spokesperson.

“Farmers know that in a drought there’s nowt you can do until it rains but if the pressure is becoming too much there are organisations they can talk to and I’ve listed them below.

“The fact is Northland’s West Coast missed out again.

“Having spoken to our provincial president, Roger Ludbrook, Pouto Point remains in serious strife as it got 30ml at most. On the sand at Te Kopuru, west of Dargaville, they only got between 7-14mls.

“In Auckland our Provincial President, Wendy Clark, reported between 10 and 35mls so it was no drought breaker.

“In Hauraki Coromandel those on the Hauraki Plains saw only about 15mls, but farms closer to ranges got a decent soaking. Our Provincial President, Kevin Robinson, said the Coromandel ranges received up to 200mls and as much as 130mls from Thames to Te Aroha

“Meanwhile Lusi was a blink and miss it experience in Waikato. James Houghton, our provincial president there, told me Lusi dished up a mere 10mls at Pukeatua.

“The options for farmers now are the usual tactic of destocking or if you are milking, to contemplate drying off cows early. Above all keep your bank up to speed with your plans and prioritise the welfare of livestock, your family and yourself.

“Clearly there are some farm management things we can look at such as pasture choices, I know, our provincial presidents are onto. Then there are things like water storage Federated Farmers is hot on because every day without rain is an opportunity cost for New Zealand.

“I need to remind farmers that they do not need an adverse events declaration before approaching Inland Revenue over things like income equalisation relief. It doesn’t excuse you but the Revenue can show flexibility on a case-by-case basis.

“In the meantime we can only hope there’s rain somewhere out there as that’s the real answer to our immediate need,” Mrs Milne concluded.

If you need someone to talk to….
Depression helpline 0800 111 757
Samaritans 0800 726 666
Lifeline 0800 543 354
Rural Support Trusts 0800 787 254


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