Farmers Cope Well With First Winter Blast

NEW ZEALAND - Following contact with provinces south of Taupo in both islands, Federated Farmers has found that both stock and farmers have come through the weekend's wintry blast well.
calendar icon 25 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

“It’s been a short and sharp storm front but it seems to be moving off with much better conditions on my farm today,” says David Rose, Federated Farmers adverse events spokesperson, who farms near Invercargill.

“There’s been warmth in the sun and that’s melted all the snow on my farm. After speaking with farmers in both Islands’, that seems to be the general picture as well. The biggest concern is probably with difficult driving conditions.

“While snow may still take a few days to fully clear, farms and livestock entered winter in peak condition with ample feed available. We’ve come off a brilliant autumn for most parts of New Zealand followed by a benign early winter.

“In terms of our livestock, calving is just beginning with lambing due to get fully underway in the next two to four weeks.

“Farmers plan for winter weather events like this while our livestock are also bred for it. Winter in winter is all part of farming but winter in spring is something else.

“The MetService gave farmers plenty of warning to get stock into lower or more sheltered paddocks. MetService weather ambassador, Bob McDavitt, cautioned in our May National Farming Review that a weakening La Nina could bring snowfall similar to 2008 and 1974.

“So this wintry blast was pretty much expected at this time of the year. That said it’s terribly hard on Christchurch.

“While the farming community on Banks Peninsula is managing well with plenty of cover for stock, this wintry blast has hit the city. I think all farmers will join with me in saying that our thoughts are with the city’s residents,” Mr Rose concluded.

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