Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says farmers throughout the eastern South Island are still feeling the effects of drought, particularly in North Canterbury.
“It’s likely the medium-scale adverse event classification will remain in place until August or September this year, depending on conditions over autumn,” says Mr Guy.
“Despite recent rainfall, farmers and growers are still feeling the impacts of these prolonged dry conditions.
“In particular, the driest area is around Cheviot in North Canterbury which has been largely missed by most of the recent rainfall. . .
Federated Farmers North Canterbury say farmers affected by the drought are facing a tough year ahead and will be struggling with some tough decisions.
“It is not a great time for farmers in North Canterbury, most of us are facing a year of little to no feed, low stocking rates and substantial financial losses,” says Dan Hodgen, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chair.
“With the drought leaving us with a significant lack of grass and crop growth, we are either having to sell capital stock at a much lower rate than we usually would or having to buy in supplementary feed. Some farmers are doing both.” . . .
El Niño pattern blow to Canterbury farmers – Susie Nordqvist:
North Canterbury farmers already in the grip of their worst drought in 60 years have been dealt another blow today.
NIWA says we are on the cusp of an El Niño weather pattern, meaning things are about to get even drier in the east and wetter in the west.
Canterbury’s trademark Nor’west winds are exactly what drought-stricken farmers don’t need.
“When you just get the wind likes this it’s stripping out the moisture in it,” says Federated Farmers north Canterbury president Lynda Murchison. . .
“Today it was confirmed that drought conditions in the South Island will likely drag on until September this year, emphasising the risk of dry weather patterns to New Zealand and highlighting the need for regional water storage and irrigation infrastructure,” says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO. “These conditions are only likely to worsen in the long term and spread to other parts of the country as a predicted El Nino weather pattern sets in.”
Concerns about how these warm weather patterns will impact our economy were set out in a recent International Monetary Fund report
(http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2015/wp1589.pdf). As part of its findings, the report recommended further investment in irrigation. . .
The Bay of Plenty region and its industries could grow substantially thanks to its resource, population, location and climate advantages, a newly published report reveals.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today released the Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study, which shows that the region has a number of natural advantages and is well placed to attract further investment, raise incomes and increase employment.
“This study provides a detailed summary of the opportunities for the Bay of Plenty’s future,” Mr Joyce says. “It outlines the potential of the primary sector, manufacturing and tourism industries in particular to grow the region. . . .
The kiwifruit industry came together to thank the Government for its support with efforts to manage the bacterial disease Psa, when the Prime Minister John Key visited Zespri’s Mt Maunganui office this afternoon.
Zespri chairman Peter McBride says senior representatives of postharvest, growers and industry organisations took the opportunity to show the Prime Minister how far the industry has come since Psa was first discovered in New Zealand in 2010.
“It’s hard to recall now just how uncertain and dark those days were, when we simply did not know how the industry could continue with Psa. . .