Latest News

No rain, but a perfect Storm

No rain, but a perfect Storm

Southland farmers are reeling from the combined impacts of COVID-19 and a long dry period

Photo: Coffee on Us in Fairfax, Southland - Wednesday 30 March 2022

Southland Rural Support Trust (SRST) and industry groups have been meeting weekly since February 2022 to monitor effects of both COVID-19 and the continued lack of rainfall.

Environment Southland reports some rivers are very low for this time of year, and many groundwater monitoring sites are at their lowest on record for this time of year. Decreasing river levels mean many water consents have or are close to reaching their cut off limits.

Grass and supplementary feed growth has been seriously impacted.

“It’s shaping up to be the perfect storm,” says Cathie Cotter, chair of the SRST. “The ability for farmers to manage the current dry conditions is being seriously hampered by staff shortages created by community COVID-19 in both the rural servicing industry and the processing companies. Pasture growth and pasture covers are well below average levels and many farmers are already digging into their winter feed supplies to keep stock fed while we wait for the rain,” she said.

The growing incidence of COVID-19 in the community means processing companies are impacted both by staffing shortages, and the real possibility of water consents reaching cutoff. Reduced throughput at meat works has meant farmers are forced to hold stock on farm with reducing options to feed them.

NIWA’s climate outlook for March-May is for rainfall to be near normal (40% chance) or above normal (35% chance). Temperatures are likely to be above average (65% chance). Soil moisture levels and river flows are most likely to be near normal (45% chance).  “However, we are running out of growing time before winter,” said Mrs Cotter.

The SRST is holding a series of free Coffee on Us events in a selection of the worst affected dry areas from Wyndham to Western Southland and Te Anau over the next two weeks to enable farmers to get off farm, socialise, and share their concerns with others. Southland Catchment groups are also planning social events in the worst affected areas.

For more details on the Coffee on Us events, refer to the events section on the front page or go to the Southland Rural Support Trust Facebook Page 

Farmers struggling to cope with these challenges are encouraged to contact the SRST on 0800 787 254 (RURAL HELP) or email southland.rst@gmail.com

Previous Article Farm Strong - Online chat with Sam Whitelock – Surfing for Farmers
Next Article Feeling the pinch whilst isolating?
Print
2486

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x

More news...

Get Ready to Shake Out

Get Ready to Shake Out

New Zealand ShakeOut, our national earthquake drill and tsunami hīkoi, is taking place on Thursday 27 October 2022 at 9.30am.

August 1, 2022 0 Comments
Talking Dairy - Take Action against FMD

Talking Dairy - Take Action against FMD

Foot-and-mouth disease has reached the tourist hot spot of Bali, and the risk of it entering NZ on the footprint of an unwary traveller or by other means, is now a little too close for comfort. So, what are the risks to farmers and primary industry as a whole? And more importantly, who is responsible and what do we need to do to be prepared? We chat to Liz Shackleton,...
July 22, 2022 0 Comments
Foot-and-mouth disease fragments detected at Australian border

Foot-and-mouth disease fragments detected at Australian border

A foot-and-mouth disease outbreak has ripped through two Indonesian provinces since April, killing thousands of cows and infecting hundreds of thousands more

July 22, 2022 0 Comments
Surfing for Farmers

Surfing for Farmers

Surfing for Farmers  Goldpine visited Midway Beach in Gisborne for a chance to check out the well-being initiative, Surfing for Farmers. Founded by Gisborne-local Stephen Thomson in 2018, Surfing for Farmers now host events in 21 locations across New Zealand.
July 21, 2022 0 Comments
What you need to know about Foot and Mouth Disease.

What you need to know about Foot and Mouth Disease.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved (two-toed) animals such as cows, sheep, goats and pigs. It is an animal health disease with no significant health impact on humans. There have been no cases in New Zealand yet, but FMD is...
July 20, 2022 0 Comments
Joint AWDT & FarmStrong course helps navigate farming challenges

Joint AWDT & FarmStrong course helps navigate farming challenges

Southland dairy farmer Brooke Flett shares how a new programme designed to boost the resilience of rural communities helps her navigate the challenges of farming. For more information on “Know your Mindset. Do What Matters” visit Agri-Women's Development Trust To find out what...
July 19, 2022 0 Comments
Decision Tree for Flood Damaged Farms

Decision Tree for Flood Damaged Farms

DairyNZ - Decision Tree for Flood Damaged Farms

Heavy Snow - advice from DairyNZ and B+LNZ

Heavy Snow - advice from DairyNZ and B+LNZ

Heavy Snow - DairyNZ

Checklist to help you reduce the impact of heavy snow conditions on farm 

Federated Farmers urges extreme vigilance on FMD

Federated Farmers urges extreme vigilance on FMD

Feds urges extreme vigilance on FMD As Biosecurity New Zealand continues to closely monitor the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia, Federated Farmers is urging holiday makers to also be...

Rural Support Trust NZ