West Coast RST alert for farmers on the summer dry

As published in West Coast Messenger

Published on Monday, December 18, 2017

Hot on the heels of a very wet winter and spring, hot dry temperatures have turned our pastures from swamp to concrete in just a few weeks.

The West Coast Rural Support Trust met last week with MPI, Civil Defence Emergency Management and representatives from Federated Farmers, bankers and other rural professionals to discuss what the summer may hold.
NIWA says that the West Coast is likely to get higher temperatures and lower rainfall than normal.
While we on the Coast know there’s no crystal ball, it’s timely to plan for the worst, while also hoping for the best. Here are some tips from farmers who have managed their way through past dry spells:
  • Dry spells are a part of farming life, but prolonged drought, after a long wet period, affecting more than one growing season causes extra challenges.
  • If your income is seriously affected, you can check for assistance from normal channels like Work and Income.
  • Dairy NZ and Beef & Lamb NZ have good technical advice on their webpages.
Actions to take early in drought conditions;
  • Make a plan and set dates to take your decisions early, e.g. set trigger points for Once a Day Milking, cull early.
  • Keep an eye on climate predictions and soil moisture levels, especially on your own farm. (NIWA is useful).
  • Talk to your bank, accountants and other advisors, seek their advice, and ask for help if you need it.
  • Do a feed budget.
  • Look after your animals and regularly check their condition.
The West Coast Rural Support Trust is always here to help! Do you need to get pointed in the right direction for advice or information? Concerned about a friend, a neighbour, a worker…. or just need a private chat? Our services are free & confidential. Call us on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit www.rural-support.org.nz.
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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, West Coast




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




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


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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