Minister O'Connor's update on dry conditions

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-closely-watching-dry-conditions

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

Farmers and growers in very dry regions around the country are urged to make plans to get through a summer that has turned hot and dry sooner than usual.

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor said today that the latest information from NIWA and industry bodies makes it clear that while farmers are generally coping through this early dry spell, rain over the next few weeks cannot be relied upon.

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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?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

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?

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.  

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Dry summer support

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Author: Marcia

The NIWA drought index measures dry conditions across the country. Their hotspot watch helps identify areas that are getting dry each week.

Like all adverse events, a drought is classified as either localised, medium-scale or large-scale.

What farmers need to do now

Don’t hold out for rain as a reason to delay any decisions you need to make. Make plans and decisions in light of current conditions and warm temperatures driving high evapotranspiration. It will take significant rainfall to slow down or reverse the dry conditions. 

That it is so dry so early in the season may further limit your options, or create uncertainty, such as decisions on which animals to sell or cull.

In many locations stock feed in the form of hay and silage is lower than normal due to the wet winter and spring. You need to understand your local situation and factor these delays in your planning.

Tips from farmers who have managed their way through past dry spells:

  •  Review the technical information from your industry bodies on managing in dry weather.
  • Do a feed budget.
  • Make a plan and set trigger points to make decisions or take action: Dates, stock condition, feed availability; Once a day milking, drying off, culling early.  Ensure relevant contract partners agree with the plan. When those points or times hit, enact your plan.
  • Keep an eye on climate predictions and soil moisture levels, especially on your own farm as it can vary from your neighbours’. (NIWA is useful).
  • Use water efficiently and plan for water restrictions. Check irrigation consents for any triggers that will require you to make changes to usage.
  • Ensure bores are well maintained and make contingency plans in case supply fails.
  • Look after your animals and regularly check their condition.
  • Make decisions for slaughter well in advance and book space in time (since killing space may be in high demand in your area)
  • Be vigilant on very hot days. Animals cannot be left for much time with no shade or access to water.
  • Be aware of increased risk of fire and take precautions
  • Talk to your bank, accountants and other advisors, seek their advice, and ask for help if you need it.        
  • Your Rural Support Trust is here to help. If you need to get pointed in the right direction for advice or information, are concerned about a friend, a neighbour, a worker…. or just need a private chat, their services are free & confidential. Call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit www.rural-support.org.nz.

This document will give you some tips and tricks for mitigating the dry hot summer conditions.

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After the rain - coordinated rural cleanup begins

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

The rural clean-up has begun after the weekend storm which caused extensive flooding throughout Otago and Canterbury.

A recovery team including CDEM, Federated Farmers, MPI, DairyNZ, Beef + LambNZ, Fonterra and the Otago Rural Support Trust is coordinating farm support and information events as the floodwaters in Otago start to recede.

“While farmers in on the Taieri are used to flooding, the intensity of the deluge on already sodden land has left a few farms at least half underwater,” says Otago farmer and Rural Support Trust Trustee Mike Lord.

The first priority in such an event is always the safety and wellbeing of people.

“We’re a pretty connected community here,” says Mike, “and in a flood like this we all tend to knock on doors, check on each other and help out our neighbours.  It’s a good idea to check in especially on the elderly lady down the road, as it has to be pretty bad before some of these people will ask for help!”

Federated Farmers has activated their helpline for both members and non-members, and are encouraging any farmers who can offer immediate grazing to get in touch. There have been more than 20 calls over the weekend, with some offers of feed and several urgent grazing requests. Farmers are encouraged to log their needs including cleanup.

“Flood affected farmers looking for help should contact Federated Farmers’ 0800 327 646 helpline, which is a primary source of contact for farmers who want to request or offer assistance,” says Federated Farmers’ Adverse Events Spokesperson Andrew Hoggard.

“This is a tried and tested resource, operated by people who understand farmers and farming.”

“We’re also working with the Local Rural Support Trust. Those feeling stressed or getting overwhelmed should contact them on 0800 RURAL HELP. It’s free and confidential,” says Andrew.

DairyNZ and Fonterra have been in contact with farmers throughout the weekend and are assisting with stock movement and milk transport where needed.

“Fortunately its early days for calving and lambing,” says MPI Animal Welfare lead Wayne Ricketts. “Maintaining feed to those animals late in pregnancy has to be a priority to prevent metabolic conditions such as milk fever, staggers or sleepy sickness.

“Farmers and agri-business organisations are working well together. MPI’s animal welfare line has only received one call about animals in floodwaters, and is open should farmers want to seek additional advice.”

A series of information events are also being set up for this week and farmers are encouraged to take an hour and come along.

- Henley Hall, 12.30pm today (Tuesday 25th)

- White Horse Inn, Milton, 12.30pm today (Tuesday 25th)

-  Clutha Vets, Balclutha, 12.30pm Wednesday 26th

----

·         If life or property is at risk - call 111

·         Please call Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) for requests for feed

·         Farmers who can OFFER feed or grazing are asked to call Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING).

·&n

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News & Alerts

Drought classification extends further to Southland and Otago

HON DAMIEN O’CONNOR

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/drought-classification-extends-further-southland-and-otago

 

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Categories: National, Otago, Southland

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Minister O'Connor's update on dry conditions

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-closely-watching-dry-conditions

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson
Farmers and growers in very dry regions around the country are urged to make plans to get through a summer that has turned hot and dry sooner than usual. Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor said today that the latest information from NIWA and industry bodies makes it clear that while farmers are generally coping through this early dry spell, rain over the...
Comments (0)
Number of views (2323)

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?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson
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? 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...
Comments (0)
Number of views (2869)

Dry summer support

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Author: Marcia
The NIWA drought index measures dry conditions across the country. Their hotspot watch helps identify areas that are getting dry each week. Like all adverse events, a drought is classified as either localised, medium-scale or large-scale. What farmers need to do now Don’t hold out for rain as a reason to delay any decisions you need to make. Make plans and decisions in light of...
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Number of views (4144)

Cleanup help for flood-hit farmers in Otago

Enhanced Taskforce Green

Friday, November 10, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

If you or anyone you know of has some residual cleanup which they want a hand with, please call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING), then select the Flood Event Assistance option (currently option 2).

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Categories: Otago

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Medium scale adverse event announced for Otago flooding

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson
Watch the video here www.beehive.govt.nz/release/medium-scale-adverse-event-declared-otago-flooding Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has today officially classified the flooding in Otago as a medium-scale event for Dunedin City, Clutha District, Waitaki District and Central Otago District. Farmers with offers of grazing or feed call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) Requests for...
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Categories: National, Otago

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After the rain - coordinated rural cleanup begins

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson
The rural clean-up has begun after the weekend storm which caused extensive flooding throughout Otago and Canterbury. A recovery team including CDEM, Federated Farmers, MPI, DairyNZ, Beef + LambNZ, Fonterra and the Otago Rural Support Trust is coordinating farm support and information events as the floodwaters in Otago start to recede. “While farmers in on the Taieri are used to...
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Flooding in rural Otago

as at 24 October 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson
Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) ready to help with Spring cleanup ETFG is a temporary employment programme funded by the Ministry of Social Development to help landowners recover from adverse events like the July floods. This funding means farmers within Dunedin City can receive cleanup assistance free of charge. ETFG provides for the employment of workers, supervisors and...
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Categories: National, Otago

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Weather warning - during and after snowstorms

As at 21 July 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson
After snow and ice ​ It's all hands on deck! Call your local Rural Support Trust for free confidential conversations on 0800 787 254 Look after yourself, your family, workers and neighbours. Ask for help and accept it when offered. Ensure stock and domestic animals have water, food, shelter, and are secure. Ensure that all stock injuries are promptly attended...
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