This promised to be the season when sheep and beef farmers would get a decent return.
It started well but the weather is taking the gloss off the market.
High temperatures, wind and no rain are leaving farmers with too little feed, forcing stock on to the market at lower weights, and prices, than budgeted.
In the last few days I’ve driven from North Otago, through the Pig Route to Millers Flat, on to Wanaka, over the Crown Range to Queenstown, back to Wanaka then home through the Lindis Pass.
The only paddocks with decent feed were irrigated.
Last year farmers struggled to get crop in because it was too wet. This year those on dry land are facing poor harvests because it’s too dry.
It’s not officially a drought yet but it’s very, very dry and the whole of Otago is now under a total fire ban.