Drought

Southern drought: Still dry on Otago farms despite rain

[3 February/ Otago Daily Times] The extreme January heat has affected farmers through low water stocks. Federated Farmers Otago President, Phil Hunt, said farmers were still facing what some were describing as the worst drought in decades. Mr Hunt emphasised the importance that farmers needed to plan accordingly and could just wait for more rain...

Drought declared in Southland, parts of Otago

[30 January/The Country] Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities, Damien O’Connor, has declared a medium scale adverse event in respect of drought conditions in Southland and large parts of Otago (including Queenstown Lakes, Central Otago and Clutha districts).  The declaration triggers additional funding of up to $130,000 for the local Rural Support Trusts and industry...

Much-needed rain has helped farmers dodge a bullet

[19 January/ Hawkes Bay Today] Significant rainfall in drought affected parts of the lower North Island may have come just in time for many farmers to dodge a bullet, although rainfall has been variable leaving some farmers facing significant hardship.  Rainfalls in excess of 100mm has come as a relief for many farmers in the...

Grey, Buller districts added to drought list

[10 January/ Otago Daily Times] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, has added the Grey and Buller Districts on the West Coast to the list of regions currently experiencing a medium-scale drought.  The declaration means that the local Rural Support Trust and other recovery organisations are able to access a funding boost.  Minister O’Connor declared 13 districts...

Wet weather a ‘shot in the arm’ but no drought breaker for North Canterbury farmers

 [13 March/ Stuff] Environment Canterbury rainfall data revealed up to 77.5 millimetres of rain had fallen this week in parts of North Canterbury, with rainfall as low as 36 millimetres in other areas of the region. While the rain soaked into the soil enough to boost pastures and winter crop growth, it is not enough...

Another El Niño could be on its way

[2 March/ Radio NZ] The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said models predicted a more than 50 percent chance of a return to El Niño conditions between August to October. El Niño conditions typically include stronger, frequent western winds in summer that may typically lead to drought in east coast areas and...

Northland farmers welcome wet weather

[19 February/ Radio NZ] Due to having had no rain since October 2016, the government declared a drought in Northland in early February. However, according to Metservice, about 90mm of rain has fallen over the region since Friday, with more forecasted on February 19th. Northland Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said that the drought...

Gisborne drought breaks record

 [3 February/ Radio NZ Country] The area around Gisborne has recorded its driest January in 112 years with just 4mm of rain recorded.  Further down the East Coast, Napier has also experienced a very dry month (5.4mm of rain).  The dry weather has been accompanied by more south westerly winds than usual keeping temperatures lower...

Nathan Guy declares drought in Northland

[3 February/ New Zealand Herald] Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, has prompted government support after declaring drought conditions in Northland as a “medium-scale adverse event” due to the exceptionally dry conditions that farmers and growers were facing such as soil moisture deficits, low pasture covers, low supplementary feed and struggling maize crops. Government support includes...

Summer heats up for Hawkes Bay farmers

 [27 January/ Radio NZ Country] A livestock agent in Hawkes Bay, Carrfields’ John Kingston, says that farmers in the region are starting to sell stock as they don’t have sufficient food and water for them.  Good spring conditions had been dried out by weeks of wind and has made the environment very dry.  Stock water...

Dry conditions take toll on Northland farmers

[Drought /Radio New Zealand Country] It is looking increasingly likely that there will be a drought declaration in Northland within the next few weeks according to Federated Farmers.  Northland region President, John Blackwell, said spring had been good for the region but a dry November and December had caused problems across the board, particularly when...

South Canterbury no longer in drought

[Drought/ Timaru Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced that the South Canterbury region’s drought classification was not extended at the end of December following a recovery in the soil moisture levels.  A medium scale adverse event was declared in Marlborough, Canterbury and parts of Otago in February 2015 and extended in June 2016. ...

Extra funding for drought-stricken North Canterbury farmers not about money

 [11 November/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] North Canterbury farmers who have faced ongoing drought conditions have received a $125,000 funding boost from the Ministry for Primary Industries. The funding would be used for technical workshops, financial management skills, community events, and to facilitate farmer peer groups. Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy said North Canterbury farmers...

Lambs on the ground but no grass to feed them

 [5 September/ Radio NZ Rural] Cheviot Farmer, Vince Daly said that although North Canterbury has had a good lambing season, it was still parched and there was not enough feed. Mr Daly said it had been a tough few years and this spring was looking no better. Mr Daly added that the only thing that...

More tough farmer decisions looming from North Canterbury drought

[14 July/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] North Canterbury farmers who had dealt with a long and hard drought would face more tough decisions when it finally ended. Federated Farmers Provincial President, Lynda Murchison said the grass on farms was dead and weedy and there would have to be a lot of re-grassing once it rained,...

January rain a game-changer

 [15 February/ Farmers Weekly] Significant rain over the South Island’s east coast through January has meant drought-stricken farmers are now in a recovery phase. Pasture growth ranged from normal to above normal for most of the South Island, and is expected to continue over the next fortnight. Opuha Water Chief Executive, Tony McCormick said the...

Support for farmers in drought-hit areas extended

 [20 January/ Radio NZ Rural] The government has announced an additional $150,000 of funding for Rural Support Trusts, to help famers struggling through drought in parts of the South Island’s east coast. Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy said the help included support and community events, professional meetings and one-on-one mentoring through the support trusts, as...

El Nino still climate driver

 [14 January/ Rural News] National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Principal Forecasting Scientist, Chris Brandolino said that despite recent rain improving soil moisture, the El Nino weather pattern will still be the main climate driver for the next three months or more. Mr Brandolino explained that although El Nino is now weakening, it peaked...

‘Super’ El Nino on the cards

[2 December/ Rural News] According to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, current El Nino conditions are on track to be at the same level as the 1997/98 event, which was the strongest since 1950. NIWA Climate Scientist, Petra Chappell said rainfall is forecasted to be below normal for the next three months....

Intense El Nino underway

[19 October/ Radio NZ Rural] National Institute of Water and Atmospheric (NIWA) Research Forecaster, Chris Brandilino said most parts of the country has been drying out over the past two weeks, with El Nino conditions predicted to be the second most intense since 1950. Mr Brandilino said heavy rain and flooding in parts of the...

Nathan Guy to visit drought hit farm

[14 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy is to visit a drought-hit Hurunui farm to consider whether the current drought declaration warranted an extension. Hurunui Mayor, Winton Dalley said little had changed in the region and that the current declaration needed to be extended past its September end-date so funding assistance...

ANZ extends assistance package for farmers

[13 February/ Rural News Group] ANZ will extend its assistance package to farmers if demand for assistance from farmers is high. The bank will commit an initial $50 million after an official announcement of a drought was declared by Parliament. ANZ Commercial & Agri Managing Director, Graham Turley explained that the package is designed to...

Drought declared in South Island

[12 February/ Rural News Group] Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy declared the drought conditions affecting parts of Otago, Canterbury and the Marlborough District as a medium scale adverse event. So far most farmers have managed the conditions, with most not needing support. Mr Guy states that preparation is vital as conditions are only going to...

Marlborough dries up as more irrigation bans imposed

[11 February/ Otago Daily Times] Nine out of Sixteen of Marlborough’s consent areas have imposed irrigation bans, as conditions in the region are becoming increasingly drier. Blenheim received its lowest rainfall in 85 years for the July 2014 to January 2015 period, whilst other areas are also suffering significantly. In response, the Marlborough branch of...