One of these things is not like the other

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Published on Friday, December 08, 2017

NIWA recently launched a NZ Drought Index https://niwa.co.nz/climate/information-and-resources/drought-monitor which is a really useful piece of the drought puzzle. It takes into account four different measures of dryness, which are combined and categorised as:

  • dry
  • very dry
  • extremely dry
  • drought
  • severe drought.

Dry spells and droughts are part of life for many farmers across New Zealand. Farmers monitor their local conditions, plan for dry weather, and make tough decisions early.

MPI doesn’t declare droughts, but help to identify if the impacts of a drought on the primary sector should be classified as a medium- or large-scale adverse event, under the criteria in the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.  That triggers extra government recovery assistance, such as additional funding for Rural Support Trusts to help their farming communities.

As well as the NZ Drought Index, MPI’s criteria includes:

  • options available for farmers to prepare for the event;
  • the likelihood and scale of the physical impact; and
  • the ability of the local community to cope socially and economically.

NIWA meteorologist Chris Brandolino says, “It’s distinctly possible that much of the country will experience below normal rainfall through to the Christmas holiday period, and December temperatures are very likely to remain above average for all of New Zealand and the summer season as a whole.”

Check out your climate on NIWA's hotspot watch.

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News & Alerts

Drought tax relief measures

Tax relief and support measures extended to farmers in medium-scale drought areas

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/tax-relief-drought-affected-farmers

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/further-support-struggling-farmers.

 

Detail of what may be available can be found on the Work and Income drought page: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/rural-assistance-lower-north-island-and-west-coast-drought-2018.html including Rural Assistance Payments.

Please share this information and encourage farmers in affected areas to talk to their accountants and advisors.

Share with your rural professional contacts so they are aware of the current challenges due to poor spring and dry early summer. Farmers and families may benefit from help revising their budgets. Some who are badly affected - particularly lower-order sharemilkers and contract milkers - may be eligible for entitlements such as Working for Families https://www.workingforfamilies.govt.nz/ so your help to make their accountants / advisors aware is appreciated.

Your local Rural Support Trust is available and Federated Farmers' Feedline is open to both memb ers and non-members: https://www.fedfarm.org.nz/FFPublic/Adverse_Events_Farmer_Support_and_Feedline.aspx

MPI, DairyNZ and B+L NZ also have good information for getting through droughts and dry weather.

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Summer BBQ: 10 Feb 2018 Glen Murray Hall

No bull - just some free good old fashion fun for everyone!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Author: WandaLeadbeater
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Protecting your farm from Mycoplasma bovis in drought-affected areas

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

With a number of farms in drought-affected areas, there is concern about the movement of animals for grazing or getting in supplementary feed from other regions.

The pdf has advice for keeping your farm safe. More infomrmation is available on MPI's website https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/mycoplasma-bovis/#whatucando

 

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Drought classification extends to Grey and Buller

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/drought-classification-extends-grey-and-buller

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor has extended the medium-scale adverse event classification to the drought-hit Grey and Buller districts of the South Island’s West Coast.

These are the first South Island additions to the medium-scale event, which was announced for regions of the lower North Island just before Christmas.

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