Facing drought? Want to hear what others have done to get through?
When the El Niño of 2015 - 2016 saw much of New Zealand facing prolonged dryness, Cheviot farmer Andy Fox came up with some tips.
In 2018 Southland experienced unusual dryness. Beef + Lamb New Zealand's Olivia Ross, along with the Muster's Andy Thompson came up with a radio series based on Andy's tips, called: "What did the Fox say?"
Andy's Top 10 Tips
1) Don't sleep in. If you are tired go to bed earlier and get up at the same time. One hour in the morning is worth two at night. Get out of bed and get going.
2) Do something for others. This can be one of the most satisfying things you can do when you are under stress.
3) Pick up dead stock straight away and dispose of them out of sight.
4) Life is never fair. Get used to it!
5) What people think of you is none of your business. So don't worry about it
6) Don't be scared of success or failure. There is always an element of risk in any business, especially farming. “Failure is the opportunity to try again with more knowledge” Henry Ford.
7) If you think you can, and if you think you can't your probably right. Ref Henry Ford. In other words, attitude and application are critical.
8) Look after your staff, yourself. Without health you have very little.
9) Set goals short and long term, plus ideas/methods on goal achievement.
10) Never miss an opportunity to praise someone for something good they have done. Worker, family member, truck driver. It's just as much benefit to the giver as the receiver.
Friday 16th March
Andy’s Tip - Don't make decisions by your neighbour's actions
Rural Support Trusts' Role – Lindsay Wright, Co-coordinator, Southland Rural Support Trust
With 24 years of experience as a fourth generation farmer, Lindsay has personally experienced and beaten the "down side" of stress and knows the difference the support of others can make when times are tough.
- Rural Support's role, and how they benefit from a medium scale adverse event
- How people can use the service
- Wrap up of the series
Thursday 15th March
Andy’s Tip - Use modern technology. Phone, GPS, Internet
A Young Farmer's Experience and Learnings - Guy Linton, Canterbury Farmer
Share some of the learnings learnt from the challenges that Guy has had to face that other young farmers can relate to and also learn from. Guy has only been back on the farm for a year and has already faced many challenges.
Listen to Guy Linton's Interview
Other information on Good Yarn Workshops
Wednesday 14th March
Andy’s Tip - Don’t do an “Ostrich”. Financial, feed, decision, dates, paying bills.
Financial Planning – Ian Harrington, Malloch McClean, Invercargill
- What farmers should be considering from a financial point of view.
- Talking to advisors and the questions to ask about your business.
- Benchmarking, Budgeting Tools available.
Tuesday 13th March
Andy’s Tip - Share your thoughts. Work as a team.
Women's points of view - a panel discussion.
- Rebekah Kelly - sheep & beef farmer, Waiau.
- Rebekah experienced three years of North Canterbury drought, then the massive Waiau earthquake, which formed "Lake Rebekah" on her property.
- Chanelle O'Sullivan - founder of Farming Mums facebook page.
Women tend to carry the whole family's weight when times are tough. How do we ensure they have the mental strength to do this without compromising their own wellbeing?
- Supporting your partner.
- Strategize together
- Money is often also tight
- Promoting family time
Monday 12th March
Andy’s Tip - Be optimistic, with a touch of realistic
Pest Focus - Colin Ferguson, Ag Pest NZ
Other useful links:
Friday 9th March
Andy’s Tip - You are tough and capable. Live, breathe, work it.
Dairy Focus - Nathan Nelson, DairyNZ
- Summer Dry – Recovery After the Rain
- Rotation Lengths
- Having discussions with graziers on feed availability & cattle movements
- Ensuring cows are in good condition before dry off – tips and tricks
Other useful links:
Thursday 8th March
Andy’s Tip - Always look forward, experience is the only thing you should take from the past.
Animal health and welfare - Joel Hughes, Vet South Gore Vet
- Now that its rained animal health diseases to watch out for
- Worm burdens/risk levels that could be seen
- How to pull light weights in livestock up
- Mineral supplement options to consider
- Long term effects that low feed levels can have on stock health
Wednesday 7th March
Andy's Tip - Be open to new and progressive ideas. If your advisors are tough on you in tough times you probably have a good advisor. Don’t be afraid to ask advice.
Pasture & Crop Management - Wayne Nichol, PGG Wrightsons
- New Grass paddocks and weed control
- Repairing the gaps caused from burning off
- Patching of crops and tips to boost growth
Tuesday 6th March
Andy's Tip - Make a list of jobs and cross them out as they are completed.
Planning advice - Deane Carson, Agribusiness Consultants.
Check out the planning links below.