STARTING THE CONVERSATION

The Top Six Inches - breaking the mental unwellness stigma by starting a conversation

Monday, March 1, 2021

Author: Marcia

Artist Paul Rangiwahia grew up in the rural town of Hawera and is no stranger to farming stressors. His previous art is displayed outside New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Library and was his first foray into how art could support positive conversations about mental wellbeing. Paul was aware of the pressure farmers faced, not only with new legislation but also with general on-farm stress. To combat the silence and stigma related to mental unwellness he created the artwork called "The Top Six Inches" using the analogy for not only where the majority of the plant roots sit in the soil but also the top six inches of the brain where resilience is developed by farmers who take care of their wellbeing. 

 

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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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News & Alerts

STARTING THE CONVERSATION

The Top Six Inches - breaking the mental unwellness stigma by starting a conversation

Monday, March 1, 2021

Author: Marcia
Artist Paul Rangiwahia grew up in the rural town of Hawera and is no stranger to farming stressors. His previous art is displayed outside New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Library and was his first foray into how art could support positive conversations about mental wellbeing. Paul was aware of the pressure farmers faced, not only with new legislation but also with general on-farm stress. To...
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Number of views (1765)

EXPANSION OF DROUGHT SUPPORT SERVICES 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Author: SarahWhite
The Government has announced it will expand its drought support to new parts of the country and continue helping farmers in areas facing long-term dry conditions. An extra $900,000 has been allocated to help farmers, with the current large-scale adverse event expanded to include Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago. The move will ensure feed support services can continue, animals...
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Categories: Top of the South

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BUSINESS ADVICE FUND FOR HAIL AFFECTED GROWERS

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Author: SuzanneOsborne
Business Advice Fund The Business Advice Fund is available to help fund consultancy or financial advice for farmers and growers who are struggling with the financial viability of their business. This fund is available for growers hit hard by the recent storms and who now find their business in jeopardy.  It is there to help them make sound decisions for the future of their business. Up...
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Number of views (466)
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Categories: Top of the South

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EXTENSION OF FEED SUPPORT SERVICES UNTIL 30 JUNE 2021

Continued Government support for those in drought affected areas

Monday, December 7, 2020

Author: SarahWhite
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Number of views (600)
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Categories: Top of the South

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Feed planning service

NZ-wide: for drought-affected farmers, and those affected by floods eariier.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Author: Terri Anderson
Feed planning service flyer MPI and partner agencies DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, AgFirst and Federated Farmers are providing remote feed planning support to farmers. How it works This service is based on level of need and operates on three levels: 1. In the first instance, we’ll work out how much feed you need. A call to an industry or levy body will get you a free stock...
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Rural Support Trusts - how we can help in the M. bovis programme

We are more than just an ear to listen

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson
Your regional Rural Support Trust (RST) is on-hand to support farmers being affected by M. bovis. Our services are free and confidential. As well as someone to talk to about your concerns, we can help you navigate through the process. We have training in and experience with the M. bovis programme, and know how it works. Whatever your experience looks like, we can help in many ways...
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Funding for soil conservation and regeneration

Hurunui and Kaikoura

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson
Funding for soil conservation and regeneration.  The $1500 per hectare can potentially be used for enrichment planting if the land has erosion issues which make it marginal for farming.Click here for details     
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Number of views (1808)

Post Quake Farming Newsletter

March 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson

Check out the latest news and upcoming workshops for the Post Quake Farming project,

March newsletter

 

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Support for drought extends across the top of the South Island

Minister's media release 12 March

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson
Hon Damien O’Connor Minister of Agriculture Minister for Rural Communities 12 March 2019 MEDIA STATEMENT Support for drought extends across the top of the South Island Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor announced today that the medium-scale event classification for the Tasman drought would be extended to cover Marlborough and Buller as well...
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Strategies for getting through the summer dry

March 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

Author: Terri Anderson
Facing drought?  Want to hear what others have done to get through? When the El NiƱo 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...
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