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Adverse event drought information

8 March 2013

Adverse event drought information

The Ministry for Primary Industries has added South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay to Northland as areas affected by a medium scale adverse event (drought). Given conditions as far afield as the South Island’s West Coast, Federated Farmers expects further declarations in the coming week.

What an adverse event declaration means
• Rural Support Trusts (0800 787 254) are local and will coordinate farm advisory and counselling services. This advice is invaluable in aiding business recovery and helping individual families cope with the stresses caused.

• A declaration allows discretion from Inland Revenue on things like Income Equalisation. This allows Inland Revenue to accept later deposits to the income equalisation scheme than is usual, but this needs to be arranged by your farm’s accountant.

• The Federation recommends farmers should speak to the rural bank manager handling their account. The banks have a range of packages on offer and keeping them informed should see them work with you. A separate advisory on these will go out next week.

• There are asset and means tested benefits called Rural Assistance Payments via Work and Income as well as grants. These are rightfully aimed at providing emergency assistance only. If you have staff affected it could be a good idea to pass onto them Work and Income’s North Island Drought Fact Sheet.

• Finally, we remind members that Federated Farmers legal and employment advice is a benefit of membership. Please do not hesitate to call 0800 327 646 for expert assistance.

Weather outlook
Weather forecasters and NIWA are not predicting a significant change in weather patterns until mid-March at the earliest. Relevant links are later in this advisory.

Stock feed
Coppicing trees for fodder: The most popular trees planted for erosion control and shelter (poplars and willows) are generally palatable to farm stock and may offer additional benefits in the form of high concentrations of Zinc, the presence of elevated levels of salicin and other phenolgycosides and condensed tannins (CTs). A paper by the Poplar & Willow Research Trust indicates other deciduous hardwoods, like elm, oak, maple, ash, sycamore, plane tree, birch etc, are generally considered to be palatable as well. Links to advice and papers from the Poplar & Willow Research Trust are below.

Supplementary feed: Stocks are low in the North Island but there are good feed reserves (straw and grains) in the South Island. If you forecast need for supplementary feed then we heavily recommend that you contact your nearest Federated Farmers Grain & Seed executive member by clicking here. We further recommend farmers consult their vet on supplementary feed and animal nutrition; especially regarding sheep.

Resources & information:

Coppicing trees for fodder:
Fodder tree project information by the Poplar & Willow Research Trust
Coppiced trees for fodder by the Poplar & Willow Research Trust

Federated Farmers Feed Line:
• Federated Farmers Feed Line (0800 376 844) - 0800 DROUGHT and is available here
• Federated Farmers Grain & Seed contacts are available here.

Farm advice for drought-like conditions:
• Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) drought publications are available here.
• Beef+Lamb NZ drought advice is available here
• DairyNZ drought advice is available here
• Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) Advice Note “Response of Maize to Drought Stress” is available here
• MetService Rural is available here. WeatherWatch is available here
• NIWA’s seasonal outlooks are available here.

Seminar:
FAR’s Droughted Maize Seminar is on Tuesday, 12 March (4-5.30pm) at the Waikato Arable Research Site. Email admin@far.org.nz for details.

Individual support for farmers and farming businesses:
• Rural Support Trust’s (0800 787 254) and the website is available here
• Information on Inland Revenue Income Equalisation Scheme (Special Provisions) is available here
• Coping with stress and depression is available here.
• Federated Farmers legal and employment advice is available to members from 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING)

In cases of absolute hardship:
• Information on Rural Assistance Payments and other grants is available here
• Working for Families information is available here.

ENDS

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