Water not just a pipe dream – Tim Fulton:
The latest Canterbury drought is reinforcing a message in farming: irrigation is valuable, stored supply is better and an alpine water source is best of all. TIM FULTON reports.
When the norwesters keep blowing rain on the Southern Alps and drying out the plains, even irrigators with the most advanced water networks can feel anxious.
Farmer shareholders on the $115 million Rangitata South irrigation scheme are facing tight storage conditions, even though they have access to periodic floodwater.
The network has been “just squeaking along with a rain here, a little fresh there” since it started supplying last spring, chairman Ian Morten says.
More water cannot be delivered from the main pond to farms on the scheme until the Rangitata River flows at 110 cubic metres. . .
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is expected to visit the parched South Canterbury area in the next few weeks as concern mounts that it and some other regions may be heading for a serious drought.
The Ministry for Primary Industries is monitoring the conditions in South Canterbury, as well as North Otago, Wairarapa and southern Hawke’s Bay.
MPI director of resource policy David Wansbrough said it had been talking with farmers and rural support trusts on a weekly basis.
However, he said farmers and communities appeared to be coping so far and the Government was not planning to step in with any support measures at this stage. . .
Drought!!!? – Gravedodger:
Drought is widely regarded in agricultural terms as a prolonged period of low rainfall when pastures and crops become seriously degraded by dehydration.
Yes last spring was one of low precipitation in many districts and having traveled the East coast from North Otago to The Bay of Plenty in the last 50 days there are now pockets with fodder insufficiency from “The Dry” but drought it aint.
Large Parts of Australia have been in that situation for several years and many rural properties are in a savage drought. With livestock having lost a serious degree of body weight, water supplies gone burger and absolutely zero opportunity to remove stock as buyers do not exist, increasing numbers of Aussie Farmers are taking their lives as despair overcomes their will to continue. . .
Big dry affects dairy production – Dene Mackenzie:
Dairy production is likely to slow below previous forecasts as parts of Canterbury and Otago dry off and water restrictions kick in, ASB rural economist Nathan Penny says.
”As we get further into the New Zealand summer, attention is turning to agricultural production. In the case of dairy, production has been good to date this season – albeit uneven across the regions.” . . .
Storage gives power to farmers – William C. Bailey:
United States corn and soybean farmers have a clear understanding that bad markets and low prices will reverse themselves to good times, just as good times will, eventually, fade into bad times.
The challenge, when these high or low points appear, is to prepare for the phase that will follow.
US corn and soybean farmers have enjoyed, over the past three to five seasons, really, really good prices. . .
Ngati Porou has turned around its farming fortunes, reporting a surplus of $324,000 in its last financial year.
The figure compares to the previous period’s deficit of $1.46 million.
The Tairawhiti tribe said performance of its sheep division had improved, with sheep values and prices increasing.
Ngati Porou also said its lamb crop nearly doubled over two years, reaching 12,224 last year. . .
Rural gig good for peace-lovers – Steve Wyn-Harris:
Possibly every generation throughout history reckons things are getting worse and we are all going to hell in a hand basket.
That’s a little how I’m feeling at the moment.
However, there are great things happening here at the beginning of the 21st century which we should be grateful for.
For much of the world’s population improved healthcare and better food have led to the longest life expectancy humans have ever experienced. . .